SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


South Tongass Hiway Ferry Terminal
By Rob Holston


March 08, 2010

Back in 2007 Saxman missed an opportunity. Perhaps this is their second and last chance to take advantage of their strategic location. The measure failed at that time because the Saxman political leadership took the position that the waterfront property could never be replaced once it is sold. I think they can have their cake and eat it to. The Saxman community should sell the land necessary (Seaport A or B) for the new terminal for 100% of commercially appraised value with the following conditions:

The sales price determined by commercial appraisal;
The proceeds of the sale to be invested via the Ak. Perm Fund;
Fund managers would pay each Saxman citizen this additional dividend yearly;
DOT to plan terminal building to have retail outlets/concessions to be owned &/or operated by Saxman citizens.
DOT would show local preference in hiring qualified Saxman construction workers.
DOT to show local preference hire (Saxman citizens) for all terminal/lot employees.
DOT to plan parking and traffic flow to accommodate and encourage further upland development by the Saxman community.

Discussion: This is a win win scenario, but does break some new ground and may be precedent setting. The state would need to be willing to agree to direct the Perm Fund to manage the investment and disperse the proceeds. This is not unprecedented in that this similar service is presently done for college funds.

The DOT needs to be willing to build a terminal that is designed to accommodate concessions and other retail space to be provided to local Saxman citizens or business owners at nominal lease fees. DOT would collaborate with Saxman & KGB planners to facilitate neighboring parcels would be strategically located for further upland development such as a motel &/or restaurant.

Based upon a $4,000,000 sales price(estimate), a dividend payment of 8% will pay $320,000 per year additional added to the annual dividend payment to Saxman citizens. Based upon the past growth history of the Perm Fund, the Saxman portion would grow and pay into perpetuity. In addition business & job opportunities would enhance the Saxman economy. That's having your cake and eating it year after year.

Rob Holston
31 year neighbor of Saxman
Ketchikan, AK

Received March 06, 2009 - Published March 08, 2010


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