By Agnes Moran
August 23, 2012
Concerning the debt service for the Aquatic Center, Mr. Plute incorrectly states, 'The pool bond cost 26 million loan that will cost 52 million.' In reality the principal on the Aquatic Center bond is $23,500,000 and the interest over the thirty-year term of the bonds will be $24,311,766.80 for a total debt service of $47,811,766.80
The burden to be borne by the local taxpayers is $31,878,307.05. A combination of state and federal funds will pay the balance. No taxes were raised to fund the Aquatic Center debt service.
As far as the allegation that 'The pool has a crack in it already . . .', The pool has passed careful inspections by the Borough and the City. There are no issues involving cracks.
Mr. Plute is also incorrect in his assertion that The [Aquatic Center] contract signed also required pilings to be installed that were never constructed and the Borough is responsible for any damage as a result of this. Pilings were never contemplated on the Aquatic Center project and are not required. It is possible that he is confusing the Aquatic Center project with the Library project.
As far as Mr. Plute's assertion of what was wrong with the existing facility; it had clearly outlived its useful life. I can provide details if you wish. The Aquatic Center is the one project in Mr. Plute's list that all of the voters in the Borough had an opportunity to weigh in on. The voters of the Borough recognized the need for a new Aquatic Center when they voted to approve the bonds for the project.
Mr. Plute also voices concern in his letter about a replacement generator for $230,000 for the North Tongass Fire Station when a generator of comparable size to run City Hall is $30,000. The replacement generator and associated alarm system is destined for installation for the South Tongass Fire Station, not the North Tongass.
The $234,000 grant was initially questioned by the Borough Assembly and sent back for clarification. The assembly ultimately approved accepting the grant funds after receiving additional information about the purpose of the grant. Steve Rydeen, chief of the South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department, addressed the assembly's concerns as follows:
During my time on the Borough Assembly, I believe we have made a concerted effort to contain costs and maintain services while reducing our property tax rate to 5.0 mills. The Aquatic Center has been averaging over 500 users a day since it opened. Clearly the facility addressed a need in the community, as it has been well received and utilized by the community.
About: "Member of the Borough Assembly Aquatic Center steering committee, parent of two very waterlogged children due to the KAC"
Received August 22, 2012 - Published August 23, 2012
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