In regards to Jesse Duarte’s article that St. Helena is going to buy a self-cleaning toilet for $183K: I question why is it necessary to have a toilet at all, now that we have the Chamber’s (bathroom) available?

Also, it appears we will be taking up more of our precious parking spaces (four of which we lost to EV spots that are almost always empty). The lack of parking eliminates the ability for folks to come to town and shop/eat/wine taste which … I thought a major issue to be addressed, not make worse? Unless you can find a spot in a neighborhood, or park in a private lot illegally, you cannot stay in St. Helena more than two hours. Try doing lunch and shop and wine taste in two hours! You cannot.

So, we inconvenience residents, taking up their parking, if folks even endure the hunt for a spot, so, we can spend $183K on a toilet that we really no longer need. Not to mention … the $250K-plus on another street sweeper that I am not sure how it can function in this town to clean the streets as the streets are full of cars!

I believe the funds for both projects would be better spent on fixing the horrid, dangerous, sidewalks and providing more long-term parking to keep our town alive instead of wasting money and exasperating the problem we are trying to solve! Getting folks downtown.

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Grand Jury was right, this town needs help.

Laura M. Keir

St. Helena

Editor’s Note: The Exeloo Jupiter Platinum Twin Toilet will be installed in the public parking lot near Money Way and will not remove any existing parking spaces. The city’s street sweeper will cost $283,000; and parking downtown is for three hours, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

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