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Opinion

January 20, 2013

Capitol’s repair needsnot going away on own

NORMAN — More than a year has passed since those unattractive yellow safety barriers were put up in the front of our Oklahoma State Capital. Chunks of limestone were falling from the building, endangering workers and visitors.

But the lawmakers who are inside the building have yet to take action on a long-range plan to repair the nearly 100-year-old building.

Plumbing and electrical issues seem to dominate the repair needs.

Some raw effluent was visible during a press tour this week.

We applaud the efforts of Gov. Mary Fallin to find a way to address the estimated $160 million in repairs.

In the meantime, state agencies have moved to new buildings all up and down Lincoln Boulevard. The courts and history center buildings are models of beautiful architecture and construction.

Lawmakers need to bite the bullet and pass a bond issue to begin the repairs. Interest rates are low and buildings last many years.No sense using Rainy Day money or General Revenue money to pay for repairs that will extend the building’s life. Homeowners don’t pay cash for a home that will last them many years.

As it is now, the barriers at the Capitol are just as embarrassing as the half-completed Native American Cultural Center a couple of miles away at the most visible interstate intersection in the country.

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