SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Make it easier to live here.
By Robert McRoberts


February 12, 2009
Thursday PM

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit the new White Cliff building. I think Mr. Dawson and his workers did a very good job. Nice colors, easy on your eyes so to speak, and the memories of how the old building was when I did my term there many years ago went through my head. I could remember making the old pipe stink like sulfur. Nice job guys.

This thought is going through my mind. The cost of renting something you should own is a waste of money. Why can't we the people of Ketchikan Gateway Borough give Mr. Dawson the Ward Cove property for the building. I mean the whole place but the dam. Too much liability there. We could then save all the money that place is costing us and time borough employees have to deal with it. We could move the state ferry employees to the third floor and make enough in rent to have free heat and power -- well maybe I don't know the operating cost for the building yet as no one will be able to tell until the next year or two. The property would be back on the tax rolls. We would not have to worry about how to break it up.

One idea we heard was a park. No, who pays to maintain that? We have a city park but the borough is taking care of that already. If just that move could save us a million a month in operational cost, I think we could save at least $500.00 on our property taxes a year.

If we as a community can lower the cost to live here we will survive. If you keep making mistakes of going for the most monies you can get out of Ward Cove we will be burdened by the lack of industry. From watching Mr. Dawson operate, he's a guy that could do something with the property and come out on top. So let's make a deal.

Since I am communicating to the borough in this letter -- to assembly, mayor and manager -- I would rather pay higher sales taxes than high property taxes, because you pay as you spend and not all in one lump sum at the end of the season as most of us are seasonal workers. We try to just make it through the winter. When you slap us in the face and say pay now we're taking your monies, you're saying you don't care if we didn't save enough monies to get through the hard times. Basically the only jobs in the winter are government jobs.

Once again if you want to grow, make it easier to live here. Drop the big dreams of big industry coming here, the work force can not afford to live here.

Robert McRoberts
Ketchikan, AK

Received February 12, 2009 - Published February 12, 2009


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