Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, today offered an alternative to his plan for a $7.2 million underground parking garage for 30 spaces on the Capitol grounds, according to a news release with the title, "Bakk responds to Star Tribune story regarding Lot N." (Link to original story.)
Bakk had slipped a provision for the underground ramp into a bonding bill that passed the Senate but won't become law because it was not passed by the House before the Legislature adjourned Monday.
The underground garage, with a final price tag of $240,000 per space, would have replaced a surface lot on the northwest corner of the Capitol where the governor and other constitutional officers and senior staff had been parking before work began on the Capitol renovation.
Bakk now says the Department of Administration and Capitol Security should consider moving those spaces to the underground garage beneath the new Senate office building under construction across the street.
Bakk said his original proposal would not have mandated the underground garage but only made funding available if the Department of Administration thought it proper.
He said his concerns with the current surface lot are related to security so close to the Capitol. Bakk previously told the Star Tribune he wanted the surface lot replaced with an underground garage so the current surface lot could be landscaped for better views, in addition to security concerns.