Visitors to Los Angeles County beaches are warned that some restrooms will not open until later in the day throughout the year and some of those facilities may be closed at times during the winter as a result of budget cutbacks.
The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors has announced it will begin beach service curtailments starting May 1 in an effort to achieve its operating budget goals. The department plans to deploy a reduced number of beach maintenance personnel in a more efficient manner to serve what it calls “an exploding beach population.”
The curtailments are a result of the state and local budget crisis, which officials say has severely hampered the department’s ability to sustain the beach maintenance services provided in the past.
As part of a comprehensive plan to minimize anticipated negative impacts to beachgoers, a new 7 a.m. cleaning schedule will take effect May 1, with the cleanliness of beach restrooms being the highest service priority, a department spokeswoman said.
Some restrooms may not be opened and serviced by Beaches and Harbors maintenance crews until as late as 11 a.m. year-round, allowing crews to work later into the afternoon when bathroom use peaks.
During winter months, maintenance staff will only be able to perform one “heavy” cleaning of the restrooms each day. Additionally, a number of county beach restrooms will be closed on weekdays and possibly some weekends, which has been the case in the past, the department spokeswoman said.
As part of the curtailments, other beach services such as weed abatement, landscaping, large debris cleanup, parking lot/stairway/embankment cleaning, and volleyball net replacement, will be performed when daily staffing levels allow.
Officials stressed that beach-cleaning equipment will be operated according to the current summer work schedule, allowing work to be performed before the beach becomes crowded. During the winter, however, equipment operators will begin work at the later time of 7 a.m.
These actions are intended to reduce the number of beaches subject to possible closure and further service reductions, according to the department.