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Future of the MV Taku
by Dave Kiffer


May 26, 2004

Bob Warner is right to be concerned about the future of the MV Taku. Ketchikan is expected to lose some 50-60 local jobs if the ferry is permanently laid up as the state has indicated it wants to do. When you add that to the loss of jobs from the relocation of the Aurora to the Prince William Sound area, then you are talking about a significant economic hit to the community. That's why it has been crucial for the borough government to work with the state to bring the state ferry headquarters to Ketchikan to help offset at least some of those job losses. But frankly, we don't have time to argue over whether it is better to have "working" or "paper-pushing" jobs in Ketchikan. We just need jobs.

The borough assembly has questioned state plans for the Marine Highway system several times in the last few months. I don't think that anyone in Ketchikan thinks that surplusing the Taku is a good idea. Just as most local residents oppose proposed cuts in service between Ketchikan and Prince Rupert as the ferry system heads blindly toward its own "fast ferry" debacle. Perhaps when the Marine Highway braintrust is located in Ketchikan, it will start to understand that the reality of the Marine Highway System is different from the view from the Egan Expressway and that our "highway" is just as necessary to Southeast as the state maintained highways are to the Railbelt.

Dave Kiffer
Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assemblymember
Ketchikan, AK - USA



Related Viewpoint:

Future of MV Taku? by Robert D. Warner - Ketchikan, AK - USA



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