The Piers to Nowhere
By Samuel Bergeron
November 07, 2006
When outgoing, Governor Frank Murkowski decided to encumber the
next administration with an under-funded mega project like the
Gravina Bridge, we lose the opportunity to fund other, more needed
and urgent projects like the Swan lake Tyee Lake Electrical Intertie.
With no disrespect to those who were in attendance at Governor
Frank Murkowski's community meeting on the bridge, they did
not speak for me and other leaders in the community who where
not in attendance. I believe, as do others, that the next large
project that must be completed is the half-done electrical intertie
that would provide long-range, affordable power that would attract
future businesses and jobs. The Intertie is the community's next
need as it will provide electricity at a cost rate and availability
that would allow us to heat our homes and businesses for about
half of what it costs today with oil. As time goes on and oil
gets harder to get and more expensive, what could be a higher
priority to Ketchikan than an unlimited and low-priced source
of energy to run our homes and economy in perpetuity?
The funding ability of the State is dramatically hampered by
the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline maintenance woes and the drop in
crude oil prices. We will not get a completed bridge to Gravina,
funding for Schoenbar cost over-runs, a PERS/TERS fix, completion
of the Swan lake Tyee lake electrical intertie and all the other
needs and wants we have. Those of you who would argue those projects
come from different pots of money and we re talking about transportation
money and Capital project money as well as other dollars, should
note that in a declining funding environment or not, the legislature
would not fund Ketchikan at the level that would allow us to
complete those projects simultaneously. We could be stuck with
a half done bridge project with a completed design and a couple
of bridge piers in-place and have permanent monument to a lack
of common sense.
Instead of starting another huge under-funded project like the
Gravina Bridge, don't you think we should complete another huge,
under-funded, half done project like the Swan lake Tyee Lake
Electrical Intertie first? I do.
I would hope that outgoing
Governor Frank Murkowski would not kill the chance of a completed
Intertie and funding for Schoenbar and the like by usurping the
best interests of the community to build a bridge, that by all
accounts is too expensive to build and is not the top priority
for Ketchikan. We have limited dollars available to do the things
we want to do and we should let the next administration address
these vitally important issues, not someone who is on there way
out of office.
Received November 05, 2006 - Published November 07, 2006
About: " I'm a life-long Alaskan who pays enough attention
to what the knuckle-heads in office are doing to vent just a
little. I'm a voter and some-time political candidate."
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on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
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