by Neil Gray
May 21, 2004
I must be getting soft entering my senior years. I actually agree
with some of the view points about the bridge to Gravina/Pennock
expressed by a couple of gentlemen I've know for thirty years:
Don Hoff, Jr. and David Hangar. Regardless of what Michael McColley
says, you don't have to live in a community to be vocal or concerned
about it. I still consider Ketchikan as a "hometown"
even though I haven't lived there for 12 years.
If Don's dollar figures are
correct about the cost of the bridge, then that's about $495,689
per resident on Gravina and Pennock. For those who think Ketchikan
needs to grow, how will that happen? Don't you need a good solid
economic base? Everybody knows the two major industries (timber
and fishing) are a far cry from years ago. The Moly mine never
developed. Tourism is a savior. What major business would consider
moving to a remote community like Ketchikan? That would be great
if they did, but I would think it would take a major sales job
to convince them to relocate there.
I recall talking about the bridge situation on First City Forum
20 years ago. The question still remains, is it a financially
viable venture in the long run, or will it be built just to sit
there for years and years with hundreds of thousands of dollars
yearly to maintain it? Do people want to maintain the pristine
personality of Ketchikan and Alaska, or build the bridge just
to say "look what we did."? There are no guarantees
building a bridge would broaden the tax base and lower taxes,
and that probably wouldn't happen. That would be pie in the sky
As I said before, I've wavered on the positive and negative side
of building the bridge over the years. If you can come up with
a good, solid, guarantee that building the bridge will benefit
the economic stability of Ketchikan then build it. If not, why
bother? You have ships, planes, and burial grounds to consider.
If I lived there today, I'd not be in favor of building the bridge.
Lakeside, CA - USA
WILL BANKRUPT THE TOWN, FOLKS!
by David G. Hanger - Ketchikan, AK
Desecration Bridge by Don Hoff Jr. - Hixson, TN
Pro Bridge - Michael McColley - Ketchikan, AK
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