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The $578,000 modular bathroomTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Courtesy Photo­Image
Manassas house
Courtesy Photo­Image
Omaha house

Brawner Farm at the Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia puts a high premium on its bathrooms. With the supervision of the National Park Service, the park has spent over $578,000 on a "comfort station."

You read that correctly — $578,000 — for a bathroom in a park.

Replacing the standard, plastic portable waste receptacles there previously, one could presume this to be a hand-built, beautiful "comfort facility" for the fine visitors of this park, right?

Well, no. Delivered in two modular pieces, this moderately-sized example of engineering mediocrity (complete with unsightly faux stone siding) sits three of each gender at a time.

Naturally, this fueled our imaginations. How far would $578,000 get you in buying other toilet-rendering facilities in Manassas, Va?

For $575,000 you could purchase a home, complete with 4 (admittedly fewer) bathroom installations right down the street in Manassas.

But away from the bloated Washington, DC metro area prices, what does $578,000 look like?

Well, in Omaha, Nebraska, $550,000 will buy a fine piece of real estate (with plenty left over for a 6th bathroom).

How does the National Park Service turn a beautiful estate in Omaha into a portable potty in a Manassas National Park?

Well, in traditional government fashion, they first paid for a 449-page report on the proposal, coupled aptly with a 90-page "Environmental Assessment for A Comfort Station at the Brawner Farm."

But the real irony: Upon review of the proposal, the bathroom was built to accommodate the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Bull Run to be celebrated in August 2012. However, it was not open to the public until September 2013, missing its release date by 13 months.

Expensive and too late to serve its intended purpose -- sounds like a perfect government project.

Tom Toth is the Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government. Toth’s report is reprinted with permission.

The report contains links to itemized expense reports for the project:

• Well HERE.

• Prefabricated bathroom HERE.

• The construction of sewage and waste facilities ($263,500) HERE.

• Housekeeping- Waste Treatment/Storage for sewage and waste facilities HERE.

• SBA Insurance HERE.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 10/15/2013
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