Capitol Vandalism Could Cost Taxpayers Thousands
FOX 47 News
$8,000 could come out of the state's general fund if the spray paint stains aren't gone soon.Photo: Video by fox47news.com
The Capitol Building's Director of Facilities Steve Benkovsky has seen more than 20 years of heated protests on these steps, but never this level of disrespect toward the building.
"We've removed all the paint. The problem we have right now is there's a residual left on there that gives a ghost image, and whether we're going to be able to blend that in or remove that is going to be the question," he said.
Cleaning chemicals and power washing have gotten them this far, and Benkovsky hopes these methods will take care of the rest of the stains by the end of the week. If not, they'll have to turn to using sand paper at the beginning of next week.
"If that works, what we'll end up having is a whiter part of the column on the bottom," which would blend back in with aging in about a year; making it not very pretty for a little while, but better than the alternative.
If all the cleaning and sanding doesn't work, then next week a huge portion of the surface of the pillars will have to be taken out; about five feet tall and three feet wide, replacing the old material with new sandstone - costing the state's general fund $8,000.
It adds even more interest to the person Michigan State Police believe is responsible, and also hoping to arrest in the next few days: "We've concluded our investigation. We'll be sending the prosecutor the report sometime probably within the next day or two, and we'll be expecting charges from the prosecutor's office," said Lt. Kyle Bowman.
Whoever did it will likely be facing a felony.
Benkovsky tells us he's already been approached by people in the community offering to do fundraisers to help with clean-up costs.