If you didn’t pick a number with at least 5 digits to the left of the decimal point, then you haven’t been paying attention to wasteful government spending in NY state.
It was just a few months ago that the Office of General Services (OGS) was shelling out over $60,000 to replace grass on the West Capitol lawn.
Now a new report from WNYT shows that there even more exorbitantly priced renovations taking place at the Captiol.
Take for example, these 7 doors which cost taxpayers $10,000 apiece.
Top officials with the state Office of General Services showed us one of the doors we were asking about.
It turns out it’s a ten thousand dollar door.
The state paid for seven of them during the recent multi-year renovation and restoration at the State Capitol.
It started in February of 2012.
Our special projects producer submitted a freedom of information request for the cost of any doors purchased for the State Capitol from January of 2010 to the present.
Three months later, in a response letter, Records Access Officer Heather Groll wrote that OGS does not have invoices for each specific door, but that the line item for the doors and associated parts was 70-thousand dollars.
Not included in the response was the key information that the line item estimate was for seven doors, which would have made each door and its associated parts a ten thousand dollar item.
Of course, just as in the situation involving the lawn replacement, Groll tried to pretend she didn’t know the cost of each door, and that the information wasn’t available.
It took an anonymous employee to tell WNYT that she lied, and that the information could be found with a FOIL request.
Now, I know finding cheaper doors probably was a very difficult task for a state agency, but I did perform a little demonstration. I went online to a very obscure little store known as the Home Depot. I ordered 7 doors that were similar in structure to the doors shown in the WNYT report. The most expensive model, of course. I tossed in the most expensive hinges and door levers for those same doors, and even added some 1200 lb. magnetic security door system. And this is what I came up with…
Note the final cost, including shipping, of roughly $6,312. That’s nearly $3,700 less for the entire 7 doors, than it cost the state to purchase one lone door.
This isn’t exactly ‘extreme couponing’ here NY State, but we think you could do a little better.