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Gravina Island "Development"
By Robert D. Warner


June 16, 2005

Some recent Viewpoints about Gravina Island have confused "development" and "progress"  with community "hopes", "dreams" and "lower taxes."  Even more disturbing is the assumption that the bulk of financial resources needed for this "development" will come from taxpayers rather than property owners on Gravina.
Let's see, they want $380 million to build that "famous bridge to nowhere",  $1.17 million to begin road construction, not to mention $800,000 that Pacific Log and Lumber spent last year on road construction and expects reimbursement from Ketchikan Gateway Borough.
Common sense would tell me that if these Gravina land owners want to develop their property, they should form a local improvement district and fund these costs themselves.  Why should the bulk of Ketchikan taxpayers be obligated to pay? 
It is a bit silly to assume that we can save $5.00 on a ferry ticket by building a $380 million dollar bridge.  Recent estimates are that final costs for this bridge will be significantally higher, not to mention the cost of maintenance.  Adding to the frustration is that the bulk of Ketchikan citizens will have to drive south of town through busy tourist traffic just to reach this bridge and then double back to reach the airport.  Equally silly is a recently published statement that this $380 million dollar bridge will enable folks from Ketchikan " to drive to the sawmill to purchase lumber."
Is this just the beginning?  What new schemes will be proposed to pick our pockets for Gravina Island "development?"
Robert D. Warner
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.



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