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Prioritize repairing tax base
by John Stewart


August 03, 2004

Eventually, why not now? That was an advertising slogan for gold medal flour many years ago. Some number of years ago the municipality ended up owning the Spruce Mill property through a boondoggle that proved only to be a training session for the debacle at Ward Cove. In both instances millions of dollars were spent to remove the two largest industrial complexes from the tax roles. Under no circumstance does this make use of any good sense for the benefit of the community.

After holding the Spruce Mill property off the tax roles for 10(+?) years it was sold to an interest that had the wherewithal to develop it. Forget about how we came to own the property for a minute. The important thing (for the community as a whole) is that it is now developed and generating revenue.

The same needs to happen at Ward Cove. If an entity that has (or can procure) the capital approaches us with a plan and a time line to develop any part of the property, for any purpose, we would be wise to consider it.

The recently vetoed land swap may not appear equitable on the surface, but if you scratch through the apparent tarnish you may find sterling. On the one hand, a developer who has the ability to follow through; on the other hand, an organized group that can follow through with outside grant funding.The arts, by the way, are good business and good for the community, which is good for other business.

It has been the stated opinion of another that we should concern ourselves with getting no less than assessed value. I think we should prioritize repairing our tax base. In the long term we will be better served.

Now, remember how we came to own this property off the tax roles. Remember who did this when you vote. Remember it was done despite much advice against and remember who vetoed the investigation into the possible matter of collusion.

John Stewart
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related News:

Mayor's veto won't block arts swap...
Ketchikan Daily News - August 03, 2004

Mayor vetoes arts swap vote ...
Ketchikan Daily News - August 01, 2004



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