Austin City Council is making Austinites pay a pretty penny to have access to their new downtown project: toilets.

According to the city’s public works department, two toilets could be ready for public use downtown by November. The restrooms are single-occupancy, stainless steel pods with solar panels to power LED lights. And the best part is: the pair will cost Austinites a whopping $450,000.

The two restrooms are a part of city council’s larger project to place several public toilets downtown at various street corners. They’ve already spent $115,000 a year to clean one of their trial portable toilets, and they recently approved a staggering $1.3 million contract to bring up to 10 permanent restrooms to the downtown area.

City council’s exorbitant spending on toilets appears even worse when putting the cost in perspective: just the two stainless steel toilet pods will run as much as 16 brand-new Ford F-150 trucks or a new 4,000 square foot house in the city suburb of Leander.

Austin will use a similar design as Portland, Oregon’s public restroom system.

And that’s not even half of the total $1.3 million price tag.

City council’s toilet decision comes amid a citywide affordability crisis that they’ve helped to create. More and more working Austin families are struggling to make ends meet in part because city council has constantly taken more money away from them—80 percent more from the average homeowner compared to 10 years ago.

And by spending $450,000 on two toilets, city council is clearly demonstrating why  citizens’ money needs to stay in the hands of the hard-working Austinites who are struggling to stay in their homes.

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.