MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

June 10, 2014

Thanks for saving our Capitol

Gov. Mary Fallin and the state Legislature did the right thing in finding a way to finance repairs to our state Capitol building.

The Capitol was constructed between 1914 and 1917. It’s not that the building needed a face-lift. Cosmetic surgery is not what is needed here.

This is major surgery needed to keep the building alive.

“The state Capitol is the seat of our government and an important symbol of Oklahoma,” Fallin said in a statement. “The disrepair it had fallen into was a black eye for the entire state.”

We agree that a crumbling Capitol makes the state look bad.

But there are legitimate safety concerns, too. This isn’t slapping on another coat of paint.

Visitors are prevented from approaching the grand staircase on the south side because chunks of limestone and mortar have fallen from the building’s facade.

There are internal issues with 100-year-old wiring and water seeping in behind the walls.

The wiring could be a saftey hazard. It needs to be replaced before a major electric fire occurs.

The wiring needs to be replaced before it fails and temporarily puts our state government out of business.

Gov. Fallin has been wanting to fix the Capitol since she was elected. But the Legislature and the governor’s office could not agree on funding.

A 10-year, $120 million bond issue seems to be the compromise.

Both the governor’s office and the Legislature came through for the state Capitol.

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