Welcome To New York City's Taxpayer-Funded $2 Million Bathroom

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by John Stossel via Townhall.com,

Did you see the $2 million dollar bathroom? That's what New York City government spent to build a "comfort station" in a park.

I went to look at it.

There were no gold-plated fixtures. It's just a little building with four toilets and four sinks.

I asked park users, "What do you think that new bathroom cost?"

A few said $70,000. One said $100,000. One said, "I could build it for $10,000."

They were shocked when I told them what the city spent.

No park bathroom needs to cost $2 million. An entire six-bedroom house nearby was for sale for $539,000.

Everything costs more when government builds it.

"Government always pays above-average prices for below-average work," says my friend who makes a living privatizing government activities.

--Obamacare's website was supposed to cost $464 million. It cost $834 million and still crashed.


--Washington, D.C.'s Visitor Center rose in cost from $265 million to $621 million.


--The Veterans Affairs medical center being built near Denver was projected to cost $590 million. Now they estimate $1.7 billion.

Government spends more because every decision is tied up in endless rules. Rigid specs. Affirmative action. Minority outreach. Wheelchair access. "The process is designed to prevent any human from using judgment, or adapting to unforeseen circumstances," says Philip Howard of the government reform group Common Good, adding, "The idea of a commercial relationship, based on norms of reasonableness and reciprocity, is anathema."

But New York City's bureaucrats are unapologetic about their $2 million toilet. The Parks Department even put out a statement saying, "Our current estimate to build a new comfort station with minimal site work is $3 million."

"$3 million?!" I said to New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, incredulously.

"New York City is the most expensive place to build," he replied. As a result, "$2 million was a good deal."

I pointed out that entire homes sell for less. He said, "We built these comfort stations to last. ... (L)ook at the material we use compared to that of a home. These are very, very durable materials."

They have to be, he says, because the bathroom gets so much use. "We're going to expect thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of visitors. ... So we have to build it to last."

Yet not far away, Bryant Park has a bathroom that gets much more use. That bathroom cost just $300,000. Why the difference?

Bryant Park is privately managed.

New York politicians also order contractors to pay "prevailing" wages. That usually means union wages, and that adds 13-25 percent to all bills.

When I asked Commissioner Silver about that, he said, "This is a city that does believe strongly in labor."

New York Democrats act as if "labor" means union labor. It's an insult to laborers. Most don't belong to unions. Unions, however, fund Democrats' campaigns.

Since government spends other people's money, they don't care that much about cost and they certainly don't care much about speed. Many Parks Department projects are years behind schedule.

Commissioner Silver says he's made improvements. "We've now saved five months out of what used to be four years."

"That's still terrible!" I said.

"We believe strongly in engaging the public," he replied. "We have a process that includes design, procurement and construction."

But so does the private sector, which gets the job done faster.

Silver added: "[Privately managed] Bryant Park did a renovation. ... (W)e do it from the ground up!"

But no one forced the city to build from the ground up. Anyway, renovation can cost as much as new construction. Governments just spend more.

Sometimes, people get so fed up that they take matters into their own hands.

Toronto's government estimated that a tiny staircase for a park would cost $65,000-$150,000.

So a local citizen installed a staircase himself.

Cost? $550.

Did the bureaucrats thank him? No. They say they will tear his staircase down. Can't have private citizens doing things for themselves.

Because private builders save so much money on staircases and bathrooms, imagine what we could save if government turned construction of government housing, airports and roads over to the private sector.

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subversion's picture

Money down the drain.

philipat's picture

Another brilliant example of how Government can't do anything efficiently. And this "project"{ probably also required the "oversight" of several dozen Government employess with 6-figure salaries and other "overheads" not included in the cost as stated.

Demon Slayer's picture

But Universal Single Payer CommieCare will be different.....

Communism always works better "next time". 

Just ask Bernie supporters.

StackShinyStuff's picture

That they justify this bullshit with a straight face should tell you all you need to know

JRobby's picture

"The process is designed to prevent any human from using judgement"

jeff montanye's picture

not all government work is bad, not all private work is good.  the u.s. government is particularly disfunctional.  it is too controlled by the lobbyists for the corporations and the unions that contribute to the too expensive political campaigns.  u.s. healthcare is twice as expensive as any other health system in an advanced country with no better results; it combines the worst of the private and the public sectors.

the u.s. spends far too much on wars and the military generally.  indeed the war paradigm is itself part of the problem: war on terror, war on drugs, pissing money away and robbing citizens of assets and freedom.

the more wars a government fights, the worse it gets.  good markets require good regulation.  put the banksters in jail, don't give them cufflinks.

Stackers's picture

Look at the ice rink project in central park as well. 

mtl4's picture

Spot on, anytime you see a government declare a war on something other than a country consider it government giving itself license to steal from its citizens.  War on Poverty, War on Terror, War on Obesity, War on Crime, War on Drugs, War on Global Warming.........options are limiteless for politicians pushing their own agenda.  It's a diversion tactic to create a common enemey and draw attention away from their own self interest.

SoDamnMad's picture

Remember that the $2 million was paid to people to build it. The sad part is:  So few, who did so little, got so much. 

tuetenueggel's picture

it´s worth to be shitten on.

Stalefarts's picture

If its use was limited to those of the white race, the bathroom would have some hope of staying clean. The "Jim Crow" era was based on the common-sense, expereince, and irrefutable fact that negroes tend to wreck and destroy everything they touch. Hence, the negro was supplied with a three-sided tin outhouse while the whites got a nice modern bathroom. Ditto for schools, restaurants, etc. Bringing back Jim Crow would extend the lifespan of most all public facilities. 

Nexus789's picture

Interesting that your mythical capitalist system is on the verge of collapse. It seems all systems decay and eventually collapse. 

Pendolino's picture

How much did the drain cost (to the nearest million)?

silver sword's picture

Please, can someone tell me who this single ass-wipe is that always downvotes every comment that does not parrot and reek of socialism?

Millions down the drain on a stupid friggin bathroom and this clown thinks that's a good idea?!!

Move to friggin' Venezuala - you'll fit right in, commie . . . !!!

Fireman's picture

Not even a needle disposal bin, never mind a condom machine!

Sofa King's picture

First, the reason the city originally did away with public bathrooms was because they became sex stops for deviant but we forget history.

Second, the 2 million is a pittance when you factor in maintenance and security costs over time.

Third, they are called "outhouses" not "comfort stations"

The Center Cannot Hold.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Government spends more because every decision is tied up in endless rules. Rigid specs. Affirmative action. Minority outreach. Wheelchair access.

Wrong dude; it costs more because fraud and graft.

Gordon_Gekko's picture

We DONT need Governments. They are useless. It's a myth that they are required.

tuetenueggel's picture

we neither need politicians. The only steal our money to waste it.

Justin Case's picture

Most people accept the institution of government because it has always been there; they have always assumed it was essential. People do not question its existence, much less its right to exist.

Government sponsors untold waste, criminality, and inequality in every sphere of life it touches, giving little of value in return. Its contributions to the commonwealth are wars, pograms, confiscations, persecutions, taxation, regulation and inflation. And it's not just some governments of which that's true, although some are clearly much worse than others. It's an inherent characteristic of all government.

rex-lacrymarum's picture

If I could upvote you a thousand times, I would. They are a cancer. 

Statism, the most dangerous religion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6uVV2Dcqt0



Jubal Early's picture

The toilets on the tolled freeways in France are a sight to behold.  The entire bathroom is made of stainless steel and has a spayers and is self-cleaning.  Unfortunately they have been forced to remove all the toilet seats, probably because the invaders constantly crap on them.

gunzeon's picture

I've been around, even used the German toilets with the mezzanine ( observation ) deck, but does anybody know if that picture is showing an integrated bidet nozzle ?

Just curious ... if it is it must produce one hell of a tickle, so mebbe that's the attraction !

jeff montanye's picture

toilet seats are unnecessary to a well designed toilet.  they are harder to clean and vulnerable to vandals.  

invaders?  it's hard enough to get the native born to put the seat back down.

tuetenueggel's picture

as the invaders are not used to total digitalisation the believe, these seats open automatically, they sit down an are sitting in their owen turd.

I´d love to see that and see their even more stupid face as macron´s

Bemused Observer's picture

The toilets in France have 'spayers'? Now that might explain this Euro-wussification we are always hearing about.

tuetenueggel's picture

The invaders were cooking their turdsoup in them.

roddy6667's picture

It will probably be closed within a year because so many gay men are having sex there.

tuetenueggel's picture

you´re talking about assfuckers ?

Grandad Grumps's picture

With government you get the added bonus of almost unlimited corruption.

Obamananke's picture

I have done a few jobs for some of local governments. It is always the same issues. Nobody willing to stick their neck out and actually make a decision. Then when it finally is done takes forever to get paid.

pparalegal's picture

They will need that bunker shitter as a homeless shelter when other people's money runs out...

Bemused Observer's picture

A project like that ought to be easy to break down. How much were the fixtures and materials? How much was the labor? Then make that information public, so the taxpayers know exactly what was spent and where.


There's no fucking WAY that project actually cost 2 million dollars. So where DID all that money go?



tuetenueggel's picture

material 15 $

work     75 $


Bribery 1,999,910.00 $  simple maths.

bunkers's picture

Pipes will be stolen within a week.

tuetenueggel's picture

even if they´re full of shit ?

Last of the Middle Class's picture

Thank Gawd McCain just killed Obamacare repeal, now we can look forward to that in our healthcare for the next 30 years or so. What an absolute buffoon.

lakecity55's picture

"Wow, man, I just took a dump in a 2 million $ crapper!"

"I wanna selfie posing in front of it!"

"My brother and his wife are coming to the city next week to see it, all the way from Kansas!"

"Hey! They're outta toilet paper!"

Concertedmaniac's picture

Who the fuck actually built it? The Gambino family?

Richard Chesler's picture

You can bet the builder is friends with the Clintons.


tuetenueggel's picture

maybe a nephew of Mr. Corleone da Crotone

reebomber's picture

Maybe they can turn construction of roads to the private sector, but who is going to plan the roads if not the government? Roads can only be planned by the government. 

rex-lacrymarum's picture

I hope you forgot the sarc tag...

piloto caliente's picture

Oh yeah?  Who plans the streets and roads in a new subdivision or industrial area?  On a related subject read the story of James J. Hill and his Great Northern railroad.  It ran from St. Paul to Seattle, and, unlike the railroad which is always talked about in the public school history books, was built without any government subsidies and without killing any Indians.  Naturally, the feds had to find a way to put Hill out of business.



indygo55's picture

"Government spends more because every decision is tied up in endless rules. "

Bullshit. So much monay was stuffed in pockets everywhere. What a fucking scam. Audit the finances for the project. Hello? Anyone? Lets look at exactly where the money went line by line. Its a public project so the books should be public as well.

tuetenueggel's picture

Maybe the plumber was a true friend of mr. Mayor ?

otschelnik's picture

Here's a guy who built stairs in a park in Canada at his own expense for 550 dollars, when the gubermint was budgeting 65,000 for the job.  


We're in the wrong biz - should become gubermint contractors. 

Let it Go's picture

One of the several projects proposed in the city where I live reflects what is happening across much of America. We should all be concerned at how financial restraint is being cast aside to create cookie-cutter cities and an illusion of growth.

Below are some of the details of what is occurring in the city where I live. When all is said and done I fear the taxpayers will be presented with a bill for these boondoggles and the current exuberance.


hutnela's picture

Did anyone check for secret doors? Maybe this thing is a doomsday shelter underneath.