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Friday, September 23, 2005

Negotiation of Public Loo Contract

The New York Times reports today that New York City is in negotiation with a Spanish company, Cemusa, to build 20 public toilets, 3,300 bus shelters and 330 newsstands at no cost to the city. Actually, the company would pay the city at least $1 billion over 20 years in exchange for permission to sell advertising on the toilets, shelters and newsstands.

Apparently, “the details of how Cemusa was chosen, as well as its designs for the toilets, bus shelters and newsstands, remain a mystery.” The project is one of the largest of its kind in the city’s history, and Cemusa outbid four other companies for the project.

The Times reports:

City and Cemusa officials, citing the continuing contract talks, have refused to provide more information. Some lobbyists and city officials who have followed the bid say privately that one of the losing companies may still sue to block the project.

The mayor was pleased:

"It will mean for the city a billion dollars in revenues over 20 years, which we certainly can use, and it will make the streetscape look better and cleaner, and provide better access for people walking back and forth," he said. "And toilets are one of those things that people need, and lots of other cities have them."

The article is here (free subscription required).

[Meredith R. Miller]

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