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San Francisco Spending $1.7M on Single Public Toilet to Combat Public Defecation

'It would be comical if it wasn’t so tragically flawed... '

(Headline USASan Francisco revealed this week that it plans to spend $1.7 million in taxpayer funds on a single toilet in the affluent Noe Valley.

Residents in the area have been asking city officials to do more about the public feces problem for years. Since 2012, a city hotline has received more than 230,000 complaints about public defecation and urination in Noe Valley.

Mayor London Breed unveiled a health and safety initiative last December to address the hazard, admitting that it has gotten out of control.

“The challenges, the cramped conditions, the nasty streets — and when I say nasty, full of feces and urine — that the Department of Public Works is cleaning every single day, but it comes back just a few hours later,” Breed said last year.

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The situation, however, has not improved, leading assemblyman Matt Haney, who represents Noe Valley, to petition the city for money to build a public restroom in the area.

The city granted his request, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, and allotted Noe Valley $1.7 million to build a single toilet. Private experts and residents blasted the cost of the project.

“This is to build one public restroom? What are they making it out of — gold and fine Italian marble? It would be comical if it wasn’t so tragically flawed,” Tom Hardiman, executive director of the Modular Building Institute, said.

Resident Richard Andronaco agreed: “It shouldn’t cost that much, that’s ridiculous. I mean it just seems exorbitant. Ten times exorbitant.”

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Haney said he wasn’t about to question the price tag of the project.

“They told me $1.7 million, and I got $1.7 million. I didn’t have the option of bringing home less of the bacon when it comes to building a toilet,” he explained.

City bureaucrats also defended the budget, saying “public projects and their overall cost estimates don’t just reflect the price of erecting structures. They include planning, drawing, permits, reviews and public outreach, said the San Francisco Department of Public Works.”

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