The Norman Transcript

Opinion

March 2, 2013

Let’s fix the Capitolwhile money’s there

NORMAN — Lately our governor and legislative leaders are quick to recall how far the state’s rainy day fund has grown over the past few years. At one time, it was down to $2.65. Today, that fund amounts to about $600 million.

One allowed use of the fund is emergencies. We think repair of the nearly 100-year-old state Capitol qualifies as an emergency. If lawmakers don’t want to use low-interest bond financing to repair the nearly 100-year-old building, rainy day funds look like a good source.

As lawmakers wrangle over how to pay for the repairs, the building continues to deteriorate inside and out. It’s becoming a safety hazard for state employees and lawmakers and an embarrassment for Oklahomans.

In 2011, a chunk of falling rock fell off the facade, forcing state officials to put up plastic fencing and direct visitors into a side entrance. The historic steps are no longer a way into the massive building.

The capitol’s maintenance director says the building’s exterior is not the only issue. Inside, some corroded pipes are leaking and the building’s electrical system is out of date. Repairs are also slowed by asbestos in some parts of the building.

Gov. Mary Fallin has called for the appropriation of $10 million out of current state revenue to start repairs. The governor wants about $2 million to be spent on a study to come up with a budget and timeline. The other $8 million would go toward repairing the crumbling facade.

The building’s repairs are not going away and are not getting any cheaper. It would be a great accomplishment to have the building restored by the 2017 Capitol centennial celebration.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014