SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Pays for roads, schools, infrastructure, maintenance, erases debts;
SB 46 funds projects & grants to boost state’s economy, leverage federal funds


May 14, 2011

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The Alaska House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2012 Capital Budget Friday night, investing in schools, roads, airports, harbors, energy projects and other infrastructure programs across the state. The budget, Senate Bill 46, funds hundreds of projects and grants ranging from items as small as school equipment replacement to a $400 million transfer into an educational grant fund for scholarship and financial aid.

House Finance Committee Co-Chair Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak/Mat-Su, said the house placed a greater emphasis on infrastructure maintenance and development in its version of the capital spending bill.  “We have continued to build out the state through a series of anchor infrastructure projects, while balancing the need for regional parity and leveraging federal funds,” Stoltze said. “A lot of the press coverage has focused on the stalemate that brought us into special session. It is time to move past that and focus on the good that is in this bill. We’re paying down state debt service by $200 million, which will save the state nearly $14 million per year over the next two decades. That’s real savings and a compromise with the other body. With this budget we are continuing to try and combat the state’s high cost of living through energy relief, job opportunities and better infrastructure and services.

The House Finance Committee Substitute (HCS) for SB46 invests more than $700 million in surface transportation, $335 million in our airports, and more than $260 million on education. All told, those transportation and school projects make up 41 percent of the budget. Non-transportation projects account for $1.1 billion and include projects that will benefit every Alaskan, through AGIA reimbursement, in-state natural gas pipeline development, renewable energy, and Alaska Housing Finance Corporation weatherization funding.

“Our Finance Co-Chair and Committee did a yeoman’s job, taking more than six hours of public testimony and honoring the legislative and public process,” House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, said. “They have crafted a bill that meets the desires of Alaskans from all regions while prioritizing aspects of our Caucus’s Guiding Principles: showing fiscal responsibility through debt retirement and transfers to savings accounts; promoting excellent schools and workforce development, access to affordable energy, responsible resources development, and safe and healthy communities. I believe our process resulted in a better bill, which still reflects the will and wishes of both the Senate and the governor.”

Representative Kyle Johansen (R- Ketchikan) who represents District 1, said the construction budget for District One included all projects funded in the Senate version and added the traditional discretionary appropriations from all 40 House members.  He said other statewide additions included monies for continuing weatherization programs, funding college scholarship programs and in-state gas-line work.

Johansen said, “I am very pleased with our overall success in convincing the House of Representatives of the importance of our District One projects, Southeast regional projects and statewide projects important to all Alaskans.  Our delegation worked closely, as usual, to advance and protect projects important to our constituents.  Many thanks to community members who helped lobby and support our efforts.”

House District 1 includes Ketchikan, Saxman, Hollis, Meyers Chuck, Thorne Bay, and Coffman Cove.

Johansen said the House District 1 Projects included in last night's House passed 2012 Capital Budget are: 

  • Ketchikan Shipyard Expansion and Improvement-6,000,000
  •  Thorne Bay School Wood Fired Boiler Project-300,000
  • Whitman Lake Hydroelectric Project-8,725,000
  • Coffman Cove - Community Clinic-600,000
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough - Mariculture Research Facility-300,000
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough - Recreation Center Roof Replacement and Facility Improvements-1,030,000
  • Thorne Bay - Davidson Landing Improvements-250,000
  • Ketchikan - Berths I & II Replacement Project-10,000,000
  • Ketchikan - New Public Library-6,000,000
  • Ketchikan Indian Corporation - Southern Southeast Alaska Vocational Training School-600,000
  • Ketchikan Little League - Baseball and Softball Indoor Training Facility-200,000
  • Ketchikan Youth Initiatives - Youth Community Center Elevator to Provide ADA Accessibility-75,000
  • Southeast Island School District - Hollis School Vehicle-42,000
  • Women in Safe Homes - New Domestic Violence Shelter in Ketchikan-200,000
  • Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association - Net Pens and Hatchery Deferred Maintenance-400,000
  • Ketchikan - Correctional Center Project-145,000
  • Valley Park Elementary School Roof Replacement-1,211,170
  • Ketchikan District-wide Electric Boiler Installation-3,432,996
  • Ketchikan - Water and Sewer Improvements-3,476,250
  • Ketchikan - Water and Sewer Main Replacement-2,616,824
  • Ketchikan Pioneer Home Deferred Maintenance, Renovation, Repair and Equipment-1,033,750
  • Ketchikan-Public Health Center Deferred Maintenance, Renovation, Repair and Equipment-297,723
  • Ketchikan-Regional Youth Facility-Deferred Maintenance, Renovation, Repair and Equipment-780,898
  • Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Federal Energy Projects-Ketchikan LED Exterior Lighting-10,000
  • Ketchikan-Armory Deferred Maintenance-75,000
  • Ketchikan - Department Public Safety-Post Improvements-24,500
  • Ketchikan - Court Office Building Elevator Controls-120,000
  • Ketchikan - North Tongass Highway - Totem Bight to Whipple Creek-3,500,000
  • Ketchikan - South Tongass Highway Widening - Saxman to Surf Street-1,000,000
  • Ketchikan - South Tongass Highway Repair-200,000

Regional Projects

  • Southeast Energy Fund-10,000,000
  • Ketchikan to Metlakatla Intertie - 3,180,000
  • Hollis to Klawock Pavement Rehabilitation and Culvert Replacement-20,000,000
  • Marine Highway Ward Cove Buildings and Warehouse -3,400,000
  • Marine Highway/NOAH Joint Moorage Facility Study- 500,000
  • Pacific Salmon Treaty-7,500,000
  • Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund-12,000,000
  • PSP Testing Equipment-205,300
  • SSRAA Deferred Maintenance-400,000
  • Southeast Alaska Solid Waste Authority Planing and Development-125,000

Statewide Issues

  • M/V Columbia Engine Replacement-25,000,000
  • Marine Highway System Overhaul and Rehabilitation-23,000,000
  • Performance Scholarships and/or Education Grants- 400,000,000
  • In-State Gasline -200,000,000
  • Alaska Tourism Marketing Campaign- 12,000,000
  • Weatherization Program- 76,500,000
  • Home Energy Rebate Program - 50,000,000

HCS CSSB46 (FIN), which passed by a vote of 30 – 7, moves back to the Alaska Senate for a concurrence vote.


On the Web:

Legislative Finance Division reports on the bill



Sources of News: 

Kyle Johansen
House District One Representative

House Majority Cacus


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

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