It is sad that so much of our city was damaged by the tornado and flooding, including a substantial portion of old Missouri State Penitentiary. It is encouraging that much progress has already been made to repair/rebuild parts of the city. However, the Office of Administration (Missouri state government) should not spend taxpayer money to repair or replace any buildings at MSP. According to the News Tribune article of July 27, listed costs to repair/replace only MSP buildings are $5 million plus. This is not a good use of taxpayer money!
A document entitled Capital Improvement Long-Range Plan FY2017-FY2022 is available to read on the Office of Administration website. A summary table in that document on page 8 shows statewide total requests for maintenance and repair by agency are $600 million. A summary table in that document on page 9 shows statewide total requests for construction renovation are $537 million. It is clear there are other priority maintenance and construction needs across the state.
If individuals or companies wanted to donate private funds for repair of MSP, that should be supported. I repeat, no taxpayer money should be used to repair or replace MSP. The site should be secured only, then taxpayer money should be spent for other needs — state offices still in use, schools, prisons, roads, etc. The article talks about other state buildings around town that were in use by employees, such as Employment Security. These buildings should be repaired/replaced so functions of government can continue.
Yes, tourism will decrease to Jefferson City if MSP is not repaired. There are other great places to see in Jefferson City including the soon to be remodeled Capital complex and Governor’s Mansion, the state museum and historic sites. To rebuild MSP is not a good use of resources and should not be done.