Wyoming Liberty Group
As dreams of palaces turn into nightmares, Wyoming’s Capitol renovation project muddles along to fiscal disaster. After paying millions to design and architectural consultants and having state employees work on the project for more than a year, the committee has decided it’s time to hire someone to manage the project. But instead of hiring someone to translate the committee’s vision of sugar plums into reality, it should return to the original basic renovation, delete the executive building from the equation and cut out last minute costly niceties.
This is the second of two articles on the July 7, 2015 Capitol Building Restoration Oversight Committee meeting. To read the first installment, please click here.
During Capitol Building Restoration Oversight committee meetings, Representative Kermit Brown has waxed worriedly about scope creep, and rightly so. In many construction projects, and particularly common in those funded by taxpayers, random musings find their way into the plan and the project’s scope can spiral from a basic renovation to a palatial reconstruction. But instead of worrying about how to rein in scope creep, Rep. Brown’s worries seem more concerned with appropriating money to fund it. To ensure our children and grandchildren are free from a legacy of debt and higher taxes as a result of Capitol Renovation overdrive, the Oversight committee must excise all palatial visions and get back to the basic renovation originally proposed. The people of Wyoming cannot afford to fund a monument to the egos of some legislators.
With no final design in sight and visions of palaces dancing in legislator’s heads, the Capitol reconstruction project is now $1 million over budget. St. Nicholas’s sleigh may be full of toys but what he seems to be leaving the people of Wyoming is a big bill, as the current cost overrun will no doubt be the first of many as the Capitol renovation project takes off.
City planners and other advocates of traditional neighborhood design should not be so quick to remove residential curbside parking to accommodate dedicated bicycle lanes in older neighborhoods. Like many government “solutions,” the proposed cure is worse than the original problem. This is particularly true for Cheyenne’s debate about bike lanes along Carey Avenue between Lions’ Park and Downtown.
It is not a wonder the state is chugging towards the fiscal cliff with $300 million boondoggles like the Capitol renovation project riding the runaway train. With the final design still not approved and wild accusations flying around the committee room, this done deal is a good example of monument building destined to leave a legacy of debt and higher taxes for our children and grandchildren.
Maureen Bader joins John Birbari on KVOW-AM 1450/KTAK-FM 93.9 to talk about black clouds on Wyoming’s budget horizon and possible spending cut strategies to enable the legislature to avoid panic tax hikes and leaving a legacy of debt to our children and grandchildren. June 3, 2015
With mineral tax revenue plummeting, the Wyoming government is madly conjuring up schemes to keep spending at all time highs. One boondoggle approved during the 2015 legislative session involves borrowing money to build a coal terminal on the West Coast to support Wyoming coal exports to Asia. But if the private sector is dropping out of these projects, perhaps forcing the people of Wyoming to go into debt to fund them is a bad idea. Here’s a thought; instead of dreaming up revenue generating schemes with little chance of success, Wyoming’s government should bring spending down to a level the people can afford to fund.