SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



White Cliff Project - Questioning Funding Rationale
By Lynne Miller


August 13, 2006

I thank Sam Bergeron for his comments. I too support arts in this community and a new senior citizen's center. I am confused at the rationale behind asking the community to raise BY SALES TAX the estimated 15 MILLION that is projected to be "needed" for this project.

White Cliff School was closed down originally because the borough and or the city (who actually "owned" the building at the time) REFUSED to come up with a mere ONE MILLION dollars to fix this building in the first place. Now the borough is asking taxpayers to pay 15 MILLION dollars for a "renovation"?

Hmmm - I thought all along this option of a arts/senior citizen center would be funded by grants and/or private donations - and as such I personally did not pay attention to structural plans or cost analysis. Is that not the perception that was given out to the entire community? Conversely I know for a fact the "good" that came out of closing White Cliff School was that the allocated dollars for building the replacement school were secured in a fashion related to communal fiscal responsibility and a "complete" process that involved the PUBLIC in every aspect of the planning and justification of "cost".

Telling this community now that 15 MILLION is the necessary cost to renovate White Cliff using NECESSARY SALES TAXATION as its only means, when perhaps we could start this arts/senior citizen project over and secure a NEW BUILDING for millions less, is tantamount to me envisioning, as does Sam Bergeron, the poorest in this community being penalized unnecessarily.

IF the only funding projection to the tune of such a HUGE amount for the renovation of White Cliff involves PENALIZING the poorest in our community, then let's rethink this whole thing, from beginning to end. Perhaps, just perhaps there is a better way. Something to think about....

Lynne Miller
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: "Resident of Ketchikan for nine years."


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