State House Paint, Wall Repairs to Cost Millions
FITS' staffers today uncovered yet another monumental hidden government expense soon to be coming out of your back pocket - a $120 million interior renovation project to the "didn't-we-just-renovate-this-a-couple-years-back" South Carolina State House.
The project will replace all paint and satin wall-coverings on the second and third floors of the building, which designers say have begun to bubble and chip due to "unacceptably high levels of hot air exposure" during the months of January through June. Damage was evidently most severe in the House and Senate Chambers, including the ceiling above Rep. Harry Ott's desk in the House of Representatives and the ceiling above Sen. John Land's desk in the Senate.
"There's obviously been a sustained stream of hot, noxious gas coming up from Sen. Land's desk," said Budget and Control Board Spokesman Mike Sponhour. "The ceiling there is gone. The ceiling above Rep. Ott's desk is also practically dissolved."
According to documents obtained from the Budget and Control Board by FITS (that's Faith In The Sound, yo) under the South Carolina Freedom of In-fo-mation Act, work on the restoration project was started last week by Hugh Leatherworks, Inc., a Florence-based construction company that, following state government tradition, submitted the highest bid on the project.
"We had lower bids," said Sponhour, "but obviously Sen. Leatherman and Chairman Harrell-Cooper weren't about to take those."
Additional problems were found in the East Wing of the First Floor of the State House inside Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer's office.
"There was some chipping there and a little bit of bubbling," Sponhour said.
Bauer, however, indicated he would personally pay for the renovations out of money he made in his controversial DOT land deal.
"As long as I ain't pulled by the po-po again b'tween now an' then, I'll pick up the tab," Bauer said, adding that senior citizens inspired by his leadership at the Office on Aging had volunteered to supply any labor associated with the renovations.
"Eh?" said Newberry resident Clyde Bovinous. "Eh?"
Noticably lacking in hot-air related damage was the First Floor's more prestigious 'West Wing,' where Gov. Mark Sanford's offices are located.
"All of the walls in the Governor's suite were just fine," Sponhour said. "There's obviously no hot air coming out of there."
At least now that Will Folks, ole Willie, slick Willie is gone ... but then again I AM WILL FOLKS.