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Sewage Smell Lingers At OK Capitol

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In addition to the sewage smell, repairs are needed for the cracked floors, dangerous wiring and falling limestone. In addition to the sewage smell, repairs are needed for the cracked floors, dangerous wiring and falling limestone.
Oklahoma City, OK -

The State Capitol has been a bit of an eyesore for years now with scaffolding and blockades across the south steps, but now going inside isn't that great either. It smells...bad.

That has some making a strong case for finally spending the money to fix the Capitol.

Capitol maintance crews say they have to deal with a new issue almost every day. Most recently, it's a strong sewer smell wafting up from the basement and into the Senate chambers. Crews have been searching for the source of the very strong sewer smell for about two weeks, but it seems to be getting worse. It was especially bad on Monday.

"You could have compared it to an outhouse," Charles Brown, who works at the capitol, said.

"The other day we were on the Senate floor, and the sewage smell was on the Senate floor," Senator Bryce Marlatt said.

2/9/2014 Related Story: OK Lawmakers Debate Fix For Crumbling Capitol

"We had a lot of FAA kids up here yesterday and a lot of them remarked it smelled like the hog farm," John Estes, a spokesperson for the office of Management and Enterprise Services, recalled.

The smell is likely coming from a broken pipe. Most pipes throughout the building are 100 years old and rotting away.  Not even the Governor in the State of the State address tried freshen up to disgusting details.

"The water stains on the walls downstairs, that's not just water, it's raw sewage," Governor Mary Fallin said.

That's all in addition to the cracked floors, dangerous wiring, and limestone falling off the front.

"We've passed the point of no return on this building," Estes said.

The current plan calls for a $160 million bond measure to repair the crumbling building. Governor Fallin supports the bond and is urging lawmakers to act fast.

The bond measure has already passed out of a Senate Committee, so it now goes to the full Senate for debate and vote before heading over to the House.

In past sessions, passing a bond to fix the Capitol has stalled in the House, because lawmakers didn't want to take on any new debt.

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