FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - With the state budget extremely tight, Gov. Matt Bevin has opted to use money from private donors to complete some needed renovations inside the Capitol.
The work is being done in conjunction with major improvements to the outside of the Capitol and Capitol Annex.
The main entrance into the governor's office has been temporarily closed while the work is underway.
Bevin spokesman Woody Maglinger said several offices are undergoing improvements, which includes painting interior walls, replacing ceiling tiles and light fixtures and installing new carpeting.
“Unlike remodeling efforts of previous administrations, this project is being paid for exclusively through privately raised funds," Maglinger said. “Gov. Bevin wants Kentuckians to be proud of their commonwealth and to have the best possible experience when they visit their public facilities.”
The office renovations are being paid for from excess money in a private fund that paid for Bevin's inaugural festivities in 2015.
Bevin had to order spending cuts to balance the General Fund budget in the fiscal year that ended June 30. He has warned that additional cuts may be necessary in the current fiscal year.
Last year, the outside the Capitol received a deep cleaning and had mortar joints replaced, windows caulked, and limestone railing repaired. That project, performed by Williams Restoration from Tennessee, cost about $1.2 million, according to Finance and Administration Cabinet spokesperson Pamela Trautner, who believes it was the first time that side received such attention since the building opened in 1910.
Currently, the other three sides, including the south facing part of the building, which looks toward the Capitol Annex, is receiving the same type of treatment, Trautner said. “Midwest Maintenance of Piqua, Ohio, has the contract for that project. The total amount is a little over $800,000, and is supposed to be completed by Oct. 10.”
She said there’s not as much growth and algae on these sides of the building as there was on the north side, which is why it’s costing less.
Tom Latek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.