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By William Tatsuda


August 12, 2005

The City of Ketchikan and the Visitor's Bureau are being shortsighted in promoting the current $70 mil bond issue for floating cruise ship docks North of the Tunnel. The professional consultants recommended $58 mil Thomas Basin T-Pier design is much better for the visitor industry, cruise ship companies, and the citizens of Ketchikan. The Thomas Basin design adds two ships for a total of 5 as opposed to a total of 4 ships for the bond proposal.

Now, do the math. North design costs 20.6% more, but has 20% less capacity. I am not a banker, but my guess is that the bonds could be paid off at least 40% faster if the Thomas Basin design is built instead. If the current bond proposal passes, the local tourist industry will be limited to 4 docks for 30 years, as opposed to being limited to 5 docks for 18 years. It will be hard for the City to get voter approval to bond for additional docks until the current bond proposal is paid off. The problem is that we need 5 docks now, and more as soon as possible.

The Thomas Basin design has plenty of parking and bus staging area and causes less of a traffic problem. It also blocks fewer water views.

The only ones benefiting from the North docks are the property owners on the waterside between Sockeye Sam's and Talbot's. Everyone else loses, including the tourist industry, cruise ship lines, and citizens of Ketchikan.

The objections from the cannery manager regarding the Thomas Basin T-Pier are vague and unsubstantiated. If Homeland Security were to be a problem for the cannery, it would be an even bigger problem for City Float under the current plan. There is plenty of room for boats to unload fish at the cannery. It is just an inconvenience for them to have to anchor their boats further away. The owner of the cannery property should have been involved rather than tuning it over to the cannery manager.


William Tatsuda
Ketchikan, AK - USA


On the Web:

 Ketchikan Port Berth Expansion Bond Initiative

Ketchikan Port Berth
Expansion Bond Initiative

 Ketchikan Port Berth Expansion Bond Initiative

Vote August 16, 2005

 The City of Ketchikan is proposing to expand and improve facilities along the waterfront to provide enhanced public use and additional economic benefit to residents, business owners, and the City. A bond initiative will be placed on the August 16, 2005 ballot to gain approval for up to $70 million to fund the project. - More... Port Expansion Project Information




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