ST. PAUL – 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.
A behind-the-scenes video provides images of the Captol’s deteriorating infrastructure. Log on to www.mnvideovault.org and enter “Capitol restoration tour” in the search field to view the footage. The pertinent footage begins at the 18-minute, 45-second mark.
“Many people see the Capitol from afar and think everything looks just fine with the building,” Urdahl said. “This video provides some very telling footage, allowing people to see exactly why this restoration project is necessary.”
Dean Urdahl represents District 18A in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Rep. Urdahl can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-4344.