State building only greenish | Arkansas Blog

State building only greenish



NO SOLAR POWER: At new green state building.
Jason Tolbert reports that the environmentally sensitive remodel of the old Dillard's HQ on Capitol Avenue for state offices hasn't wholly delivered on environmental promises yet. It has solar panels, but they're not in use yet, nine months after opening.

The Tolbert Report offers an explanation of what's up.

Here's the explanation I want: How did a Texas developer know that a complicated move was afoot to shuffle legislative staff into Big Mac, get new offices for House members and shuffle state agencies out of Big Mac, which would — mirabile dictu — be provided for by a wonderfully renovated new office building that just happened to be available from the Texas developer who made a wise speculative investment. I wrote about this $35 million House aggrandizement project long ago (though I agree that this is a fine new home for the state Library, AEDC and others.)

Is it really true that the swingman on the real estate portion of the deal was Steve Faris, the term-limited senator? He's functioned in recent years as a sort of an in-chamber rep for some small phone companies, but now that he no longer has a vote he's found other work. Guess what? He's going on the Senate payroll, just like I told you weeks ago. I hear he griped to other reporters at the time that I didn't know what I was talking about and hadn't talked to him about the report. It's true. I didn't talk to him. Why waste space on an inaccurate denial?

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