Barberton exhibits San Francisco how to save cash on $1.7M public bathroom

When it comes to public housing, San Francisco officials may want to pick up the phone and call Barberton.

The Midwestern advice they’re getting could save them about a million dollars — and that’s just on the cost of installing a toilet like the $1.7 million version San Francisco paid for earlier this year one of his neighborhoods in mind.

Barberton showed on Monday it can do this for a fraction of the price on the West Coast when the City Council approved an addition of two toilets in McCafferty Park at about 7.1% of the estimated total cost of San Francisco’s single, lavish loo.

Of course, the City by the Bay cost was inflated by more than the toilet itself. Things like $60,000 for non-plumbing site improvements, $125,000 for project and construction management, $2,000 for planting, and $27,600 for contingencies — because you can never be sure when it comes to public potty training.

The price for the Barberton structure is about $120,000, with the city taking care of the plumbing and sewage details, said city parks director Don Patterson.

San Francisco's proposal to install this model of a prefabricated toilet in a city park has gained widespread notoriety due to the project's estimated cost of $1.7 million.

Put a lid on the toilet outlets

The San Francisco price tag gained widespread notoriety earlier this year when officials were mercilessly taunted by media around the world. Even Gov. Gavin Newsom weighed in, threatening to withhold government funding for the company.

In Barberton, however, Midwestern thrift and common sense reign supreme when it comes to public restrooms.

Patterson said he’s not sure why the cost of a restroom in the Golden State is so high.

“That’s a good question,” Patterson said. “I don’t know who they’re dealing with out there.”

‘I don’t want to knock ’em’: Barberton’s park director is working to keep costs down

Patterson said the city is trying to be economical with its projects.

“The spending of government money is very sensitive to me,” Patterson said. “It’s taxpayers’ money”

More:Will the new group liven up the inner city? Main Street Barberton organizers talk mission

The park director said the city is also planning toilets for another park later this year. He expects the Decker Park project to come before council in April. He anticipates installation about six months after council approval.

He declined to criticize San Francisco for its toilet travesty.

“I don’t want to knock her,” he said.

More:6 reasons why you should subscribe to the Akron Beacon Journal

Leave a message for Alan Ashworth at 330-996-3859 or email him at Follow him on Twitter at @newsalanbeaconj.

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