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Official Apologizes for Calling Toilet Backbone of Local Economy

Residents of the town of Bolotnoye in the Novosibirsk region have asked regional Governor Vasily Yurchenko to punish a local official for referring to a roadside toilet in their town as the local economic mainstay.

The complaint was prompted by a post on Ilya Stakheyev's Twitter account Saturday in which he called the toilet a "town-forming" enterprise, Lenta.ru reported Tuesday.

Eleven residents have signed a petition against Stakheyev accusing the official of having "damaged the reputation of the Novosibirsk regional government."

The local economic mainstay must, by definition, be the town's biggest employer, which makes Stakheyev's theory "simply laughable," the residents' letter said, which was published on news portal sib.fm.

In a letter to the editor, Stakheyev said he never meant to insult the residents of Bolotnoye and was simply "pleasantly surprised at the level of service and comfort at that place." The tweet was a praise to the establishment's "undeniable success," the official said.

"It's not for nothing that people say that the state of the toilet is a reflection of the whole household," Stakheyev said in the letter.

Bolotnoye has a population of 16,000 residents and houses several companies, including a railway company, a bakery and a garment factory among others.

The governor's office has not reacted to the complaint.

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