June 7, 2009

Public toilet cost $300,000 to create

A new coin-operated public biffy set to open in Boston cost $300,000 to design and create because of a bevy of complications, a city official says.

Peter O'Sullivan, director of street furniture for the city, said a perfect storm of problems surrounded the creation of the public toilet, forcing its design and construction to take more than two years, The Boston Globe reported Sunday.

This was the perfect storm, O'Sullivan said. There were more complications on this one than on any toilet we've worked on.

Among the issues the Christopher Columbus Park toilet faced were sewer lines being misrepresented on engineering diagrams and an accidental violation of a wheelchair-accessibility law following the toilet's installation.

Once the toilet was up to code and properly installed, the project was $50,000 over the typical $250,000 cost for a public toilet.

But Michael Galvin, chief of public property and construction management for Boston, assured the public the toilet was not paid for by taxpayers.

We don't pay a penny, Galvin said, adding a company pays for the toiletry sites in exchange for on-site advertising. Nothing. And we haven't from Day 1.