SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Bad Economy, for who?
By Lexi Jones


November 18, 2008

I'm still fairly young, so I'm not exactly sure how the funding and logistical scenarios would play out in what I'm about to propose. So I apologize in advance if my idea isn't feasible or realistic.

For the last several months we've heard nothing but dooms-day reports on our economy from the Democrats. Which makes it surprising - to me at least - to see how many groups or organizations in Ketchikan that want to build new buildings and facilities. And these facilities range from $50,000 a month in rent to 25 million dollar construction costs. Bad economy??? Apparently not for some!!!

Just off the top of my head, groups yearning for a new place of operation include(d) the swimming pool, the borough offices, the library, the fire department, Ketchikan Little League, KGBSD offices . . . while groups like the Boys and Girls Club, Arts Council, and others have moved recently or are looking to move. Is it possible for any of these groups to partner up in a facility? Instead of three different organizations spending 20 million dollars apiece, why not team up and cut the building costs in half!

Half of our mall is empty, why not put the library in there? Then you don't have to build from the ground up.

And With Fawn Mountain adding an all purpose ball field to Ketchikan, why not take the old field above Houghtaling and use that to put in a three story facility. Bottom floor could be the pool, second floor the library and the top floor could be offices for KGBSD and the Borough.

I just think in this time of a depressed economy, maybe we should think outside the box a bit on some building solutions. Instead of every group wanting their own Golden Castle - let's team up and make it more affordable for everybody!!! You can't cry that the economy is bad and failing and then with a straight face say we need to spend over 20 million dollars for your new building.

Is it possible for any of these groups to team up???

And on a side note . . . WOW. A $25 million dollar cost for a new library? I just returned from vacation in a city basically the same size as Ketchikan. Earlier this year they opened a new library. A two-story, 28,000 square foot facility that had 9,486 registered members in 2007. The cost to build it? Eight million dollars. I realize it costs more to ship supplies to Alaska. But it seems crazy that the same size building would cost $8 million in Washington but $25 million here.

Don't get me wrong. I would love to see tons of brand new buildings. But sometimes you have to make financial sacrfices. Especially when it comes to spending tax payer's money.

Lexi Jones
Ketchikan, AK


Received November 17, 2008 - Published November 18, 2008


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Ketchikan, Alaska