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Plans for a new 24-hour toilet in the Octagon are expected to be unveiled within months.
Dunedin City Council city property manager Robert Clark yesterday said talks about a new facility were continuing with private provider Exeloo, and a report presenting options would be given to councillors by May.
Potential sites around the Octagon - including inside buildings or on the street - were being considered for the toilet, which the company would pay to build and run on a user-pays basis.
It would provide several individual stalls for public use day and night, but the council's existing Municipal Lane toilet located nearby would continue to operate, he said.
Cr Teresa Stevenson said the option of a free 24-hour toilet should also be considered, otherwise ''frugal people'' would continue to make use of nearby bushes.
Mr Clark said that was already being considered and a free option would also be on the table.
''There will be a number of people who won't want to pay, and the results will be obvious.''
Mention of the company's name drew hisses from Cr Fliss Butcher, because of concerns about older designs and incidents in which customers had found themselves temporarily locked inside toilets.
However, Mr Clark said the company's newer designs were ''pretty interesting''.
''They have come a long way in the last few years . . . [and] they are a lot more fail-safe than they used to be.''