Monday, July 4, 2011

Parks Department Is So Broke It's Rationing Toilet Paper In Coney Island Boardwalk

NO MORE! Regina Ballone (above) and Brittny Harrison can't believe workers are rationing toilet paper.

NO MORE! Regina Ballone (above) and Brittny Harrison can't believe workers are rationing toilet paper. Parks workers are forced to ration at two parks bathrooms on the world famous Coney Island boardwalk. Things have gotten so bad that local merchants have even had to chip-in to keep the bathrooms open longer. In latest budget passed on July 24, the city allocated just $ 232 million dollars out of $ 66 billion for the Parks Department, an agency responsible for 14 % of the city's land. (Photos: Gabriella Bass)


Hey buddy, can you spare a square?

The city is so hard up for cash that it's rationing toilet paper in women's public restrooms -- to the point where bathroom attendants are doling out a few measly squares per patron -- along the world-famous Coney Island boardwalk, according to the New York Post.

The Post witnessed stone-faced Parks Department employees leave toilet-paper dispensers empty last week and instead force astonished female beachgoers to form "ration lines" in the bathrooms.

Regina Ballone, 25, of Brooklyn visited a boardwalk bathroom at West 16th Street Wednesday and was "grossed out" at the thought of someone else handling her toilet paper.

"Never in my life have I experienced anything like this," she said. "I walked toward a stall, and a bathroom attendant stopped me by shouting, 'Hey, mami! There's no toilet paper here,' and she whipped out a big roll for me to grab some."

Beachgoers also have been forced to line up for their paltry allotment of the city's cheap, single-ply toilet paper at the boardwalk's other women's restroom at Stillwell Avenue.

Benedikte Friis and Ann Damgaard, both 22, from Denmark, said they enjoyed visiting Coney Island last week -- except when it came to the bathrooms.

"It's very weird that someone decides how much paper you get because they don't know what situation you're in," said Friis, 22, laughing in disbelief. "You might need more!"

Toilet-paper rationing isn't an issue in the men's rooms -- but only because they apparently don't have any to ration. The toilet paper was gone whenever a The Post reporter went to inspect the men's rooms.

The Parks Department refused to say how much it budgeted for toilet paper and other supplies, with a spokeswoman saying only, "Bathroom supplies are stocked daily, and our budget for these supplies is consistent.

"There's no need to ration, and we'll make certain our staff does not do so," added the rep, Meghan Lalor.

But bathroom attendants privately insisted that the department isn't adequately stocking the boardwalk with enough bathroom supplies, which is why they are forced to ration what they have.

Dianna Carlin, owner of the Lola Star Boutique, said the bathrooms should be in better shape considering boardwalk merchants agreed to pay the city fees this summer to keep them open longer.

"I gave $1,000 but would've been better off buying $1,000 worth of toilet paper and dropping it off," she said.

Additional reporting by Gabriella Bass

Read More:

New York Post - July 4, 2011 - By Rich Calder

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