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