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Plum Island beachgoers this summer will get to enjoy enhanced facilities thanks to the completion a new bathroom complex and emergency station at the end of Plum Island Turnpike, just steps from the sand.

“We are thrilled to announce the completion of the Plum Island Public Bathroom Project, made possible through prudent financial management and resource allocation,” say chairperson Alicia Greco and Geoff Walker, current select board members who have shepherded the project from the beginning. “This endeavor underscores our dedication to fostering a safe and enjoyable environment for all members of our community while also fortifying our preparedness for adverse weather conditions.”

The new facilities, which will be unveiled at an event on April 27 and open to the public on May 27, include eight stalls and handicapped access. The building replaces the portable toilets that used to serve the area, offering less appealing facilities and block parking spots. The structure also includes an emergency response station, which can serve as an outpost for police, fire, and ambulance staff as needed.

The building was acquired for $361,100 in 2018 after a town meeting vote approving the purchase. The renovation cost roughly $200,000, paid for with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 – the federal stimulus package passed during the COVID-19 pandemic – and a state grant. No borrowing was used to pay for the project.

“We recognize the importance of responsible financial stewardship, particularly in allocating public funds,” says town administrator Tracy Blais. “By leveraging existing resources, we not only mitigate financial borrowing but also uphold our commitment to fiscal prudence and long-term sustainability.”

Plum Island – a barrier island that runs through parts of Newburyport, Newbury, Rowley, and Ipswich – is know for its lush, white sand beaches; stunning, unimpeded ocean views; and the ecosystems of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. The island gets hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.