In Noe Valley Town Square in San Francisco, local leaders planned to gather on Wednesday to celebrate their most recent victory: the construction of a single public restroom, which may cost up to $1.7 million and not be finished until 2025.
However, the party was called off after a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle drew attention to the “mind-boggling” and “maddening” specifics of the undertaking.
Assemblyman Matt Haney of California told the newspaper that the price tag is now “inexplicable” to him.
According to a representative for the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, the outrageous cost is the result of “onerous demands and unpredictable costs levied by PG&E,” as well as construction costs that have increased 20% to 30% in the previous two years and the employment of workers who are paid a living wage with benefits.
The cost may be less than the $1.7 million estimate by the time the toilet is actually built in 2025, at which point any remaining money will go toward upkeep and renovations, according to the parks department.
However, Haney claimed that since the town square’s opening in 2016, his constituents had been requesting a public restroom. Since years, San Francisco’s infamous feces issue has been on the minds of local leaders, leading Mayor London Breed to declare a new public health and safety campaign in December.