Government Math: Always Round Up

MIRS News (subscription required) reported last week that a state senator is trying to raise private money to replace 20-year-old carpeting in the Michigan House and Senate chambers. The report describes bids received three years ago that “came in between $70,000 and $120,000 for the House and between $65,000 and $130,000 for the Senate.”

However, the senator reportedly estimates it would take about $300,000 to replace the carpet in the two chambers, and possibly on the fourth floor of the Capitol, too.

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The low bids for the two chambers add up to $135,000. If half-again is added for the fourth floor, this rises to $202,500. Home rehabbers know projects always costs more than expected, so tacking on another 15 percent would be reasonable, which brings the total up to just shy of $233,000.

But this senator knows something too, which is how government really works — even the generally well-managed and efficient Capitol facilities operation. So yeah, $300k is probably the right number.

There’s no word yet on where to send contributions.