LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas’ first lady says the interior of the governor’s private office at the governor’s mansion will have to be demolished to deal with the lingering smell of rats.

First lady Susan Hutchinson informed the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission on Wednesday that the smell remains even though a rat infestation was removed and new insulation was installed, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2d3m7o4 ) reports.

“You can walk in there today and still smell the rat stench. It looks fine, but it’s hideous smelling,” Hutchinson said. “It just permeated anything that would absorb air.”

The first lady also told the panel that she wants to make the mansion more accessible to visitors. Governor’s Mansion Association president Jan Zimmerman said she planned to expand the annual First Lady’s Tea.

Zimmerman said she has removed a restriction on younger children from attending the First Lady’s Tea, and advertised the gathering statewide. She also said the mansion has hosted an art-related reception for more than 200 high school students.

The meeting was the first since the Legislature passed a government efficiency bill in May that allows the governor to remove commissioners. Four commissioners were removed in June. The bill also eliminated a provision that required the commission to make rules concerning improvements and repairs to the mansion.

The commission also approved a list of purchases and donations during the meeting.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com