CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Cole Park is a popular bayfront attraction, tourists and locals enjoy the sights and sounds of the environment, but when nature calls and a portable toilet is the closest option, would you take a chance?
A Corpus Christi resident did at the portable restroom placed beside the new skate park, and what the person found looked disturbing.
"It's overflowing and there's no one in their right mind that would go in there and use that." said the resident. "People go in there and they just use the floor. I saw human excrement on the toilet seat, on the door of the toilet, on the latch, I've been visiting the park for the last six weeks for three days a week and this is how I see it all the time."
The resident wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from his employer.
KRIS 6 News discussed the issue with the city's Parks and Recreation Department Director, Robert Dodd.
According to Dodd, the vendor who supplies the portable restroom cleans it on a regular basis.
"We have staff go out there every morning to make sure it's clean. I believe this is probably an isolated incident," he said.
The KRIS 6 team spoke with regular park-goers who say they haven't seen the bathrooms in bad condition at Cole Park.
"I come fishing here a lot and actually I'm not going to lie to you, I've always seen this place clean. and I've never seen it like that," said David Rodriguez, referring to the photos the KRIS 6 News team showed him.
Dodd said the issue would be resolved regardless, the Parks and Recreation Department planned to replace the facility on Friday after getting word of its former condition.
"It's probably time, it's been six months so it's probably time it was replaced anyway," said Dodd.
There are bathrooms by Cole Park's amphitheater. It is a distance from the pier and skate park. Dodd said portable restrooms were added when the skate park reopened due to the high-traffic area.
The hope is to bring in more restroom facilities.
"It was a short-term fix. I think in the long-term there will be more restroom facilities there in that part of the park." he added. "We're going to have some public outreach for our Cole Park Master Plan that we have in place. So, I would definitely make sure when we have those meetings, or we have some input from citizens they should definitely relay that information to us so we can get it to the proper people."
If someone has an issue or non-emergency in Corpus Christi, they can call the 311 hotlines to report Corpus Christi-related incidents or concerns.
"We want to make sure that we hold standards very high in our parks and we want to make sure that we maintain that and keep that and make sure that we keep the citizens happy and we do that every day," Dodd said.