A report to Governor Vilsack concludes Iowa government buildings need four-hundred-82-million dollars in repairs. The report by the Iowa Vertical Infrastructure Advisory Committee highlights repairs needed at all state buildings including prisons and hospitals. Iowa State University Civil and Construction Engineering professor Jim Rowings helped gather the data used in the report which does not include repairs needed for the state’s three public universities or local schools. Rowings says the tab is so high because the state spends very little on maintenance. The committee recommends the state dip into its cash reserves to make 100-million dollars worth of immediate repairs. It also recommends a 30-million dollar annual appropriation from the legislature for deferred and current maintenance. Rowings says using some of the state’s emergency funds for the repairs may not be a bad idea. But both Governor Vilsack and the top Republican in the legislature oppose the use of emergency state funds for the construction projects. House Speaker Brent Siegrist favors the use of gambling taxes for infrastructure projects.Rowings says the report gives the state a starting point on what to fix first. He says unless the state increases the money spent on maintenance, it will find itself in the same trouble again five years down the road.
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