The Parks and Waterfront Department is planning to spend $600,000 for a new bathroom in the Marina, to serve the small boat and windsurf users. That’s right, $600,000 for one bathroom. What planet are they living on?
Web research shows that you could buy ten park bathrooms for that kind of money. Ten ecologically friendly, nice looking, no odor, flush-toilet bathrooms with sinks to wash your hands. The vendor is Green Flush Technologies in Washington State. The Green Flush Product Catalog shows, for example, the Keystone model (photo left), which has two stalls, and can be supplied either gendered (M / F) or unisex. Toilet uses one quart per flush. Waterless urinal. Low-flow sink. Both sides ADA compliant. That model would be a perfect replacement for a pair of porta-potties in Cesar Chavez Park. Base price: $46,950. Add shipping, installation, site prep, permits and taxes and it rounds off to about $60,000.
Note that the Green Flush models do not require sewer hookups. They have a shallow vault that won’t breach the cap over the former landfill that is Cesar Chavez Park. They don’t need to be pumped out nearly as often as the current porta-potties. And the cost is within the range that reasonable taxpayers and voters will recognize as appropriate for a park bathroom.
Another model, the Breckenridge (photo right), would replace a single porta-potty, such as the one at the edge of the current Off-Leash Dog Area in the park. Base price: $26,950. Figure $30,000 installed. Given the $600,000 that the P&WD has to play with, we could put permanent ecological no-odor flush-toilet restrooms with sinks in every Berkeley park that is cursed with porta-potties, and still have money left over.