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Another $30M needed as State Capitol renovation goes over budget

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An extra $30 million of taxpayers' money is needed to complete the ongoing renovation works at Minnesota's State Capitol, on top of the $270 million already being spent.

The Pioneer Press reports that issues with water damage, extra security measures and other costs have added $30 million to the bill for the multi-year renovation, Gov. Mark Dayton and other lawmakers were told on Friday.

"I don't like it," Dayton said, according to the newspaper, but added that "it's not surprising that there's some unwelcome surprises" relating to work on the 109-year-old building which started in 2013.

On Friday a bipartisan commission approved asking the Legislature to stump up more cash for the project.

The Star Tribune reports that Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, has suggested some of the money could come from construction bonds, but conceded a portion may have to come from the general fund.

The newspaper added that a $20 million contingency fund has been "mostly spent," which Dayton described as "unfortunate but not too surprising."

According to MPR, most of the $30 million overrun has been caused by water damage discovered around the building's basement, which will require the reconstruction of two stairways and further waterproofing of the building.

"As we began the demolition in the basement and as we started to reveal certain areas of the exterior wall in the interior of the building, we started to recognize the degree to which water was coming into the building," lead architect David Hart said.

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