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Iowa to pay $400,000 for security fence at governor’s home

April 28, 2021 GMT
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Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to the media after signing legislation that will set up a system of grants for broadband internet providers in an attempt to boost access in rural parts of the state, on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, inside the State Capitol rotunda, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Kelsey Kremer /The Des Moines Register via AP)
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Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to the media after signing legislation that will set up a system of grants for broadband internet providers in an attempt to boost access in rural parts of the state, on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, inside the State Capitol rotunda, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Kelsey Kremer /The Des Moines Register via AP)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state of Iowa will pay $400,000 to design and build a wrought iron fence around the historic Des Moines mansion used as the residence for Gov. Kim Reynolds, officials said Wednesday.

Iowa Department of Public Safety officials specified the cost of the fence that will be installed soon around the Terrace Hill property and said it would come from the DPS budget.

“Other descriptions of the fence materials, dimensions and specific plans are confidential for security purposes,” department spokesman Sgt. Alex Dinkla said.

DPS officials said Friday that security concerns have prompted the state to build the fence around the property, where the 8,000-square-foot Victorian mansion sits atop a hill on eight acres just west of downtown Des Moines.

Public safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens said the fence is part of an overall state initiative to improve the security footprint at state facilities.

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DPS said in the statement that Iowa is one of the few U.S. states without perimeter security fencing around the governor’s residence. It said repeated threats against elected officials, including Reynolds, have been widespread and alarming.

Reynolds said Wednesday that many states used federal funding after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to secure governors’ residences.

“I think it’s probably the right thing to do. Nothing will change. It’s still the people’s house and we’ll continue to do tours and it will continue to be open, but I’m not going to second-guess their recommendation to have it done and obviously every other state but one or two have made the same decision,” Reynolds said.