SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Voting "Yes" gets our economy back on track and moving forward.
By Tom LeCompte


April 09, 2006
Sunday PM

Citizens of Ketchikan,

What a wonderful opportunity we have. The opportunity to:

-Alleviate some of the congestion of downtown....crowded sidewalks and long lines on the docks will be thinned out somewhat, and the sidewalk from Tacquan Air to Sockeye Sam's where two walkers cannot pass each other on the narrow water-side path, let alone a bicycle or a stroller.... well you get the idea.

-Receive a beautiful waterfront promenade almost three fourths of a mile long when all the docks are included.... great for the crowds in the summer...and really great for all of us to use in the 7 months the ships aren't here...16 feet wide, safe enough to ride bicycles, stroll babies, walk dogs...enjoying the space and the view...

-Have a drive down ramp for access for our fishing fleets, for supply and rigging when the cruise ships are not in.....and in addition the floats act as breakwaters for the local craft moored at City Float/Casey Moran Harbor...and ...the re-configured city float actually will allow more usable lengths of dock spaces..... including skiff spaces for the Pennock Island residents who moor there.

-Have a reason to clean up the Newtown area and see an inspired and invigorated boost for economic interests there....During Spring Break I viewed Mr. Hauk's developments in Astoria and his similar visions for the Waterfront Storage property are impressive....Businesses from the Tunnel to the Mall will benefit from the new developments .....if the new piers are built...

-Best of all, the "head tax" and private industry pays for all these improvements.... local residents will not be stuck holding the bill if any aspects of the cruise economy should change...The bond lender assumes all the risk and their research supports viability of the project.

-Get back some of the 100,000 visitors we will lose this season because we do not have the dock space to accomodate them....visitors who spend about $140 each out of pocket here in town....affecting jobs, sales tax collection, and lost head tax revenue.

For the present it all seems to be positive....We host visitor- guests who are excited to be here, stay for 6-10 hours, and move on..... A certain percentage return.....some of these visitors actually help sell our community to others.... our community prospers and grows and we have our space in the evenings and from late September until early May.....

Tourism is where Ketchikan's wagon is hitched right now. And as much as we'd all like to see 1,000 family wage jobs come to town, no one seems to have that in their pocket today or in the forseeable future. So it seems that maintaining what we had is the best course for the present. The new piers are needed to get back those lost 100,000 visitors and their wallets.

Is there a saturation point? Certainly...Are we there yet? I don't know....... I do know that the number of guests not coming here will be 11% less than last year. Our local economy, and most businesses, if not all, cannot weather too many years of 10 % losses.

Voting "Yes" on Tuesday will be your opportunity to help get our economy back on track and moving forward.

Please vote yes.

Tom LeCompte
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: Tom LeCompte is an 18 year resident of Ketchikan, a teacher, and a voter.


Related Information:

click hereApril 11, 2006 Special Election Port of Ketchikan Improvements Project

Detailed Project Description;
Ask A Question, Get an Answer;
Special Election Information;
and much more... click here


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Ketchikan, Alaska