Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, has accepted re-appointment to serve on a commission which will continue to advance a massive restoration project at Minnesota’s aging Capitol.
Estimates indicate it will cost approximately $240 million to restore various structural facets of the Capitol, which was built in 1905. The Capitol Preservation Commission on which Urdahl will continue serving began the restoration process by successfully obtaining $44 million in last year’s capital investment bill. The group may plan to seek $109 million in bonding this year to keep the project on track.
Projects experts deem necessary range from repairing a leaky roof dome to restoring aging artwork, improving deficient electrical and plumbing systems, and securing crumbling marble on the building’s exterior.
“If we do a bonding bill this year, I hope money for continuing this project is included,” said Urdahl, who is serving the commission for a second biennium. “This is the people’s house and, as far as I’m concerned, it is one of the most important buildings in Minnesota. We need to keep the roof from leaking and keep our restoration project going before our Capitol falls into a further state of decay.”
The commission was established through legislation Urdahl authored as chairman of the House Legacy Division in 2011-12. It is chaired by Gov. Mark Dayton and includes 22 members, a mix of legislators, at-large citizens and other officials.