Brooklyn Councilman Up In Arms Over Cost Of Refurbished Public Restroom

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — How long did it take, and how much did it cost to build a tiny public restroom in a Brooklyn Park?

The answers may astonish you, and now a local councilman is furious.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield (D-44th) says it took him seven and a half years to get the city to rehabilitate the once dilapidated Gravesend Park, where he played as a kid.

Now that it’s been done you’d think he’d be happy.

Well, he isn’t.

“Because we’re so flush with funds in New York City, we’re also flushing some funds down the toilet,” he told CBS2.

Greenfield is upset about the cost of the new bathrooms. The price tag for the 400 square feet of space was nearly $2 million, and there’s absolutely nothing unique about it.

There are no gold plated fixtures — only stainless steel.

“I’m frustrated that we are essentially wasting taxpayer money,” Greenfield said. “You can build a complete house in six months for one million dollars.”

At around $5,000 per square foot, it’s literally cheaper to buy the most expensive apartment in Trump Tower.

Greenfield puts the blame squarely on City Hall, with Mayor Bill de Blasio presiding.

“The buck stops with the administration and at the end of the day, if the administration really made this their priority they could figure out a way to cut the red tape,” Greenfield said.

Public advocate Tish James was also outraged, saying in a statement; “In a city tasked with helping so many in need, particularly the growing number struggling with homelessness, every dollar counts.”

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis said the project represented a total disregard for the taxpayer.

“I just think this is mismanagement,” she said Wednesday. “Mismanagement is coming from the top, you get a feeling in this administration that taxpayer money grows on trees.”

The Parks Department says the bathrooms opened on June 27, “just over a month past its original projected opening date of May 8.”

The agency says the bathroom wasn’t funded until five years ago.

But $2 million for a tiny bathroom?

“I think it’s very expensive,” one person told CBS2.

“Oh yeah, expensive. It’s only a bathroom,” said another.

The city insists it’s made major changes to shorten the building process. Greenfield disagrees, saying that a few months ago the contractor told him the bathroom opening would be delayed as much as a year because he couldn’t get the proper sign-offs.

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