SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Tuesday's Vote - October 5th, 2010
by Ken Bylund


September 24, 2010
Friday AM

Proposition 3: On the $800,000 being considered for the North Tongass Fire & EMS; it seems likely that more will be required to rehabilitate this industrial property after the initial purchase price that should be brought to the attention of the voters. This was an industrial facility supplying metals and associated chemicals; will there be additional funding required to rehabilitate the soil and modify the structures to accommodate the... what? What is this property to be used for? Water storage and... what? So the costs that are being estimated are ______ and what is the goal/benefits of this TBD total cost?

On the subject of Fire Fighting equipment available; does the Gateway Borough have access to BAMBI BUCKETS or the equivalent? Are this inventory here and accessible through the U.S. Coast Guard? Does the State or Federal Government have Guardian Helicopter Water Bucket/Firefighting equipment available on the island to support our local Fire/EMS Service should there be a forest fire along our thirty-five miles of coastal residential and industrial footprint?

If not, it would seem that the capital expenditure being requested for this water storage site would be better served to organize, and outfit an aerial fire fighting capacity that might be available to residents across the Tongass Narrows, for Pennock, Gravina, and Annette homeowners, and us, Revillagigedo homeowners, up and down our 35 miles of coastline; dipping 500 gallons of seawater, there for the taking to fight any dangerous fire with quick support for our volunteer and professional fire fighting teams.

An obvious alternative/opportunity; not suggesting this is one our Borough has overlooked, and now that we are approaching an election in 12 days with Proposition #3 on the ballot, might our Borough Assembly and Fire Chiefs provide a public evaluation on the total costs, see Para [1], and inform voters on the feasibility of substituting limited ground tactics at significant costs to consider a similar budget that might serve all of Ketchikan, Pennock, Gravina, and possibly outlying areas beyond our road system.

Ken Bylund,
Ketchikan, AK


Received September 23, 2010 - Published September 24, 2010



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