Open for Business: Gov't to Erect $98,670 Outhouse
(CNSNews.com) - The Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently paid $98,670 for the purchase and installation of an outhouse at the Swede Park Trail Head in Alaska.
The purchase includes a single-vault Romtec 1011 "Aspen Single" prefabricated waterless toilet and its installation at the parking area for the trail head.
KJ Mushovic of the BLM tells CNSNews.com, “Almost half of it (contract expense) is for the cost of the toilet.”
The Oregon based company Romtec lists the "Aspen Single" model on its website for “as low as $9,999”, but the BLM says the price they paid likely includes shipping to Alaska.
“And the cost of all the materials that will have to be taken to the site, Mushovic said. “There will be earthwork that’ll have to be done.”
On September 20th the contract to install the toilet was awarded to Big Street Construction Incorporated of North Pole, Alaska. The BLM tells CNSNews.com the construction company is located about 3 hours from the installation site.
“When we are talking about this trail head -- you turn off this highway (Denali Highway) onto an unpaved area. You drive in maybe a quarter of a mile. I would consider it to be remote.”
The BLM says the Swede Park Trail Head is a popular location and up to 80 vehicles at a time can be parked there.
“The BLM has considered this issue carefully and determined that construction of the facility is in the best interest of both the thousands of visitors to the Swede Lake Trail Head and the surrounding area, which has been badly fouled by human waste and sanitation products.”
“They (people) have already traveled a distance to get to this trailhead - in an area where there’s very, very little in the way of services,” Mushovic says, “So you have people camp at that trail head, before taking the trail. As you can imagine, that many people can generate a lot of human waste.”
“BLM crews then have to go out to an area like that and collect waste by hand. It really becomes a sanitation issue.”
The $98,670 contract does not include the pumping out and maintenance of the facility. Those issues are addressed in a separate contract.