By Kenneth Carpenter
March 16, 2009
Our nonprofit received as a donation the 347 Bawden Street property. As you all know, this was your former hospital and was built with asbestos in the building. The asbestos has hampered the development of the property for several owners. The first step in rehabilitating this property is to remove the asbestos. Remodeling or demolition legally requires abatement, which is removal of the asbestos and other hazards such as lead. Your health is our #1 priority with this project, the health of the future sites occupants is our second, and meeting the best needs of the community is our third. Our immediate goal is abatement, however assessment must take place first. For nearly a year we have been working with the EPA to achieve this goal. Currently the EPA is evaluating our request for Site Assessment of the building. Abatement funding is dependent on assessment, and assessment funding is based on community support. All they need is a letter of support for our project from your City Mayor, KGB Mayor, Tribal Council or Governor in order for assessment and abatement to begin. I wrote to all of your elected government leaders and they all have not responded to date.
Mayor Weinstein has not responded
to any of my emails, letters, faxes or certified letters since
we acquired the building. Your Council Members and Assembly Members
have not responded to letters we sent them either. It surprises
me that the Seattle Mayor, soundly supports our project on a
regional basis, yet I hear nothing from leadership in Alaska.
If you really want to support abatement (I will stipulate all
townfolk will have job priority) then please ask your elected
leaders to respond with a positive and supportive letter for
the EPA. I believe it is in the best interests of every citizen
of Ketchikan and surrounding areas to bring this building up
to community standards and safely remove all sources of hazards
from the building for the continuing health of all. Also if you
would be kind enough to take the time to write us a letter of
your individual support and mail or email us, in addition to
making a copy and slipping it under the door of 347 Bawden Street,
that may be enough to provide "community support" to
the EPA if the levels of government continue to remain silent.
We will request community involvement at a later date to formulate plans for the best use of the property and if the community has a better use than what we propose, then we will pursue all avenues. Some have emphasized the historical value of keeping the structure intact and that will also be open to discussion and vote. However, all development depends on abatement, and this is dependent on assessment, which in turn depends on community support, and that comes down to all of you, without exception. Please contact your leaders for letters of support and please provide an individual letter of support.
Thank you for your understanding
About: "We are the owner
of 347 Bawden Street."
Received March 13, 2009 - Published March 16, 2009
Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
Your full name, city and state are required for publication.