McCrory reverses course on mansion bathroom remake - WNCN: News, Weather

McCrory reverses course on mansion bathroom remake

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Gov. Pat McCrory has decided against spending up to $230,000 in taxpayer funds remodeling bathrooms in his private living quarters at North Carolina's Executive Mansion.
    
McCrory spokesman Kim Genardo issued a statement Saturday saying the scope of the work would now be scaled back.
    
"The governor has firmly communicated to the Department of Administration that not one penny of taxpayer dollars will be used to remodel or upgrade any of the six bathrooms in the living quarters," Genardo said. "Only a very limited amount of funds will be used to repair potential code violations, treat dangerous mold and fix broken faucets."
    
Genardo did not immediately respond when asked which specific building codes the bathrooms violated. Old houses typically are grandfathered from having to meet the same requirements as newer homes.
    
The Associated Press reported Friday on plans to remodel six bathrooms in the Republican governor's private living area at the historic downtown Raleigh manor. The bathrooms were last remodeled in the 1970s, but are in working order.
    
A written estimate showed more than $100,000 of planned work to the master bathroom, including new marble, woodwork, bath fixtures and a ventilated water closet.
    
A memo justifying the upgrades listed problems that included the lack of water-efficient commodes, cracked tiles, worn countertops, inadequate electrical outlets and concern there might be mold growing behind the walls. There was no mention of testing to determine whether the mold is toxic.
    
After the plans became public, McCrory was widely criticized for spending on bathroom upgrades while cutting costs at other state agencies. The proposed $230,000 price tag was more than the median value of an entire single family home in Raleigh.
    
The pricey remodeling work was approved by State Budget Director Art Pope little more than a month after McCrory signed a budget that provided big tax cuts for the wealthy while excluding raises for teachers, dropping per-pupil school spending to among the lowest rates in the nation, and slashing a program that provides dental work to low-income children.
    
The left-leaning group Progress North Carolina is calling for a "Plumber's Parade" around the Governor's Mansion for Wednesday.
    
"Show Gov. McCrory you won't just sit by while he and other far-right lawmakers flush our future down the drain," said an invitation issued on the group's Facebook page. "Come dressed as a plumber, bearing signs and plungers, or the tool of your choice. Something stinks in Raleigh and it's time to make it plain to lawmakers: your priorities are all wrong and your hypocrisy stinks!"

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