Does San Francisco Really Pay $1.7 Million for a Public Toilet?

Residents of Noe Valley in San Francisco get a new public toilet that carries a huge price tag.

On Wednesday, the SF Chronicle reported that a new public restroom in the upscale San Francisco neighborhood would cost the city a whopping $1.7 million.

But according to San Francisco Recreation and Parks, it may not be that simple.

“A $1.7 million toilet is a good headline, but the whole story is much more nuanced and less sensational,” an SF Rec & Parks spokesperson told KTLA sister station KRON4 in San Francisco.

A ceremony to celebrate the public toilet in Noe Valley on Wednesday was canceled.

SF Rec & Parks says the project is still at such an early stage that it hasn’t even been designed yet. The project could end up costing the city much less, and the remaining funding could be spent on further improvements or maintenance of the toilet.

“We estimate high — not because we want to spend more money, but because we want to make sure we can deliver projects to communities even when faced with unexpected costs. That means budgeting for the worst-case scenario,” the spokesperson said.

SF Rec & Parks says its budget takes into account factors, including “heavy demands and unpredictable costs imposed by PG&E,” rising construction costs, and “hiring in a manner that reflects our values, with workers earning a living wage and benefits.”

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