SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Residents of Noe Valley are getting a new public restroom, and it could end up costing the city a pretty penny.
On Wednesday the SF Chronicle reported that a new public toilet in the upscale San Francisco neighborhood would cost the city a whopping $1.7 million dollars. But according to San Francisco Recreation and Parks, it may not be quite that simple.
“A $1.7 million restroom makes a good headline, but the whole story is a lot more nuanced and less sensational,” a spokesperson for SF Rec & Parks told KRON4. A ceremony to celebrate the public restroom in Noe Valley on Wednesday was canceled.
SF Rec & Parks says that the project is still in such an early stage there isn’t even a design for it yet. The project could end up costing the city far less, and leftover funding could be put towards further improvements or maintenance of the restroom.
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“We estimate high–not because we want to spend more money, but because we want to ensure we can deliver projects to communities even if we are hit with unexpected costs. That means budgeting for the worst-case scenario,” the spokesperson said. SF Rec & Park’s budget includes considerations for the following:
• Onerous demands and unpredictable costs levied by PG&E, condition and accessibility to utilities, and any new requirements that may emerge.
• Construction costs that have risen 20-30 percent in the past two years due to global supply chain issues, as well as the costs of fuel, labor, and materials. That’s in a city that is the most expensive in the world in which to build.
• Hiring in a way that reflects our values, in which workers earn a living wage and benefits.
• It’s also important to note that public projects and their overall cost estimates don’t just reflect the price of erecting structures. They include the cost of planning, drawing, permits, reviews, public outreach and construction management.