SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Buy local & road maintenance...
By Rodney Dial


December 05, 2007
Wednesday AM

I agree with Mr. Flom's letter and his plea to buy local. In the age of the internet, local business owners not only have to offer a competitive price, but superior service to survive. On a personal note, I have been involved in the renovation of an old house here for over a year and have spent tens of thousands of dollars locally. Madison and Talbot's have been excellent to work with. I have also been very happy with the work provided by local contractors, including the Duckworth's and Aurora Roofing -- good people.

Unfortunately I have also experienced a few dealings whereby I can understand why some buy out of state. In one instance I ordered a significant amount of flooring and window coverings from a local supplier. After several weeks of not receiving any word on the status of the order I learned that they never even ordered the items. This shut down my renovation project costing me money and time. I called the local owner somewhat expecting that he might offer a discount for their mistake, but received nothing more than "we are sorry". Frustrated, I ordered the same items online and saved $300.00.

In another case I ordered a bed from a local furniture store for $1600.00. A few days later, I saw the same exact bed online for $600.00 with free shipping to AML in Seattle. I called the furniture store and was told that I could not buy the bed for that price. After I pointed out several websites where I could buy the bed for approximately $1000 less, the furniture store greatly reduced their price, and I still bought local even though it still cost me a few hundred more.

I will continue to buy local, but will research big-ticket purchases online first. If the price is significantly less online, I will still offer locals my business first, if they are willing to be competitive. I don't expect local businesses to be cheaper and I am willing to pay for local service, just keep it reasonable.

It's worth mentioning that local government could do more to encourage local buying by reducing the sales tax rate, or through a seasonal sales tax adjustment.

On another note, am I the only one who thinks that the road construction on Tongass Ave. is like the maintenance of the Golden Gate Bridge? In that, by the time they finish they will have to start all over again? Attached is my plea to SEACON:


As you near completion of the one year water main / road project Phase I (now approaching 2.5 years in length) , and look forward to summer 2008 where you will start Phase II south of the Landing, may I respectfully suggest the following:

1. When you dig down to replace the pipe, you will find rock. Assume that there will be more rock than you expect and it will be difficult to remove.
2. Don't rely on the old maps showing the locations of the existing water pipes, they are likely to be wrong.

If you plan now, factor in the aforementioned statements and assign the appropriate amount of resources to the job you will finish the next phase on time. Your timely completion of the remaining project will be greatly appreciated by all. Thank you.

Rodney Dial
Ketchikan, AK

About: "Lifelong Alaskan who loves Ketchikan."

Received December 03, 2007 - Published December 05, 2007


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letter Vacant downtown By Derek Flom

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Ketchikan, Alaska