Pricey Parks Bathrooms Putting Pressure on Taxpayers

(THE CITY) Yoav Gonen, November 13, 2019

New York City completed its most expensive park bathroom ever last year: a $4.7 million facility at The Bronx’ Ferry Point Park West. Now, a $6 million loo is on tap for Staten Island’s Seaside Wildlife Nature Park.

A review of capital projects reveals a pipeline of park bathrooms growing steadily in estimated cost.

And there’s no relief in sight.

THE CITY found that the typical city Parks Department bathroom – a no-frills rectangular structure with four walls, several toilets and a number of hand-washing sinks – costs taxpayers just under $3.6 million on average.

That’s nearly triple the $1.3 million average spent by the Parks Department in 2011.

“It’s a borderline astronomical cost — but at the end of the day, we’re paying those costs everywhere,” City Council Member Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) told THE CITY.

He said the Seaside Wildlife bathroom in Great Kills is so costly largely because of post-Superstorm Sandy flood zone requirements. He noted that he proudly advocated for the restroom because his constituents have contributed their taxes to pricey projects citywide.

“Where they probably could have gotten away with a $3 million project – the normal, overpriced bathroom – this has to be [physically] elevated,” he said. “So it kind of stinks.”