Fence going up around governor’s mansion in Frankfort

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — Kentucky is looking for someone to build a security fence around the governor’s mansion.

The governor’s office says State Police requested the fence after a May rally when armed protesters marched up to the mansion’s front door.

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Some Kentuckians we spoke with say right now, in the midst of a pandemic, is not the best time to fund a security fence project.

“It’s a little hasty of Andy to be doing this right now,” says Kevin Real.

The governor’s office says after the May protest – when protesters crossed barriers to stand on the front porch of the mansion, called for Beshear to come out, then proceeded to hang the governor in effigy – is when KSP requested a fence be built “for the safety of the current and future first families”.

The state says it’s soliciting construction bids through July 20th so it doesn’t know what the fence will cost.

According to the governor’s office, the initial cost will be paid with taxpayer money out of the Department for Facilities and Support Services Budget. The private Kentucky Executive Mansion Foundation plans to vote on possibly reimbursing the money.

People we spoke with about the fence, agree it’s needed but say now’s not the time.

“If the next governor doesn’t live there and we have a fence and it got paid for with tax dollars during a time when everybody is supposed to be suffering or surviving, however it goes, together.. yeah, that might be something not to be remembered for,” says Real.

One young mom we spoke with says she would do whatever, spend whatever to protect her two kids so she understands why the governor’s family would want added protection.

“No one wants to be afraid for their family,” says Real.

The state believes Kentucky’s mansion is the only one in the nation without security fencing.

But some tell us there are way more important things to be funding, like unemployment help for those struggling with the state’s system for months.

One questioned whether it would just be better for Beshear’s family to move.

“Will he be remembered as the guy who fenced off the last mansion because he wanted to live there and he didn’t have to?” asks Real.

The governor’s office says it doesn’t know yet when the fence might go up.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.