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Smoky Hill Museum
Fe for a cure

Kansas State Officials Abandon $20 Million Power Plant Deal

Associated Press - February 23, 2016 12:47 pm

A top Democratic lawmaker says he is joining the crowded race to replace Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. House Minority Leader Jim Ward of Wichita announced his candidacy Saturday. He had named former Democratic Party chairman Lee Kinch as his campaign treasurer earlier this week.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration has cancelled a $20 million contract for construction of a utility center to replace units in the Docking State Office Building, located across the street from the Statehouse in Topeka.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the decision came after bipartisan pressure from state lawmakers who opposed the deal because they viewed it as intentionally designed to avoid legislative oversight.

State officials pushed back against the legislators, but relented before the Legislature could produce a bill that would withhold money from the project.

The energy center was to cost $16 million, but Bank of America financing would’ve pushed the total to $20 million.

Under the Department of Administration plan, the building would’ve been imploded and utility infrastructure from the basement would be relocated to a new facility north of the Statehouse.