Following complaints of sex acts and drug use in Lula’s public bathrooms, the city is looking at electric locks as a method to potentially curb the problem.
At February’s council meeting, City Manager Dennis Bergin told the council of graphic issues with the restrooms happening overnight, where people have found drug paraphernalia like hypodermic needles.
“We’ve got electric door locks on one set of bathrooms, and they’re proposing that we extend those to the other set of bathrooms,” Bergin said at Monday’s City Council work session.
The public restrooms are near the baseball field, the walking trail and Veterans Park.
Councilman Vince Evans expressed his concern about having restrooms available to the public that came out to use these amenities around Lula.
“That’s what you heard the council say. They’d like to keep those open longer. They just have to fund it. How are we going to do it?” Bergin asked.
The locks would be set on a timer that could be adjusted with the seasons, Bergin said. A panic bar would also be installed in case a person gets locked inside.
Hall County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Stephen Wilbanks said the number of officers in the Lula area varies depending on the time of day, with multiple units during peak hours.
“There’s always a minimum of one patrol unit assigned to that zone, but that is a fairly large zone,” Wilbanks said.