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Public toilet in San Francisco’s Noe Valley comes with painful $1.7M price tag

<i>KPIX</i><br/>In what sounds like an instance of NASA-level spending
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KPIX
In what sounds like an instance of NASA-level spending

By SARA DONCHEY

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    SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — In what sounds like an instance of NASA-level spending, the city of San Francisco is budgeting $1.7m for a single public toilet in the Noe Valley neighborhood.

Finding a public bathroom in many parts of San Francisco can be challenging, particularly in the busy area around Noe and 24th.

Known for its boutiques and quiet tree-lined streets, the town square on 24th Street has become something of a neighborhood hub. Home to an ever-popular weekly farmers market, the square is a popular meeting spot for local families and neighborhood dwellers.

Richard Andronaco likes to spend his days on one of the public benches doing a crossword puzzle.

Absent from the square is a public restroom. In its place, a lone port-a-potty that was locked on a particularly busy Wednesday afternoon.

But a proposal aims to change that by installing a permanent restroom. The only potential problem? A hefty price tag.

According to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle the bathroom was projected to cost as much as $1.7 million dollars.

“It shouldn’t cost that much, that’s ridiculous. I mean I just seems exorbitant. Ten times exorbitant,” Andronaco scoffed at word of the number.

Assembly member Matt Haney, State Senator Scott Wiener and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman were set to tout the plans at a news conference Wednesday which was abruptly canceled after the Chronicle story was published, drawing a swell of backlash online.

The San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department noted the estimate is on the high end to account for construction costs, paying workers a living wage and “worst case scenarios.”

They told KPIX in a statement:

“We will consider various options, including installing a pre-fabricated restroom. In the end, the project may well be delivered for far less, with leftover funding put toward further improvements or maintenance.”

The toilet isn’t expected to be completed until 2025.

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