The Idaho State Capitol Commission voted 4-3 Wednesday to fund $350,000 in changes to State Street as it runs past the Capitol, between 6th and 8th streets.
The improvements will narrow the street from its pre-construction width of about 40 feet to 28 feet, by constructing a new curb and planter beds. The new curb will be placed roughly where Jersey barriers have stood during renovation and expansion of the Capitol.
Two commissioners -- Rep. Steve Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, and Jeff Youtz, director of the Legislative Services Office -- opposed the changes because they want to press the Ada County Highway District to close the street. A third commissioner, former Rep. Delores Crow of Nampa, said the state shouldn't cover the cost because ACHD still controls the street.
"Why would we spend money that's allocated for the Capitol if State Street is not under our purview?" Crow said after the meeting.
But four other commissioners approved the project, which is expected to begin in May, according to Jan Frew, executive project manager for the Division of Public Works.
The four who favored the project were: Commission Chairman Andy Erstad, Department of Administration Director Mike Gwartney, Sandy Patano of Coeur d'Alene; and Idaho State Historical Society Executive Director Janet Gallimore.
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