Local News

Governor’s ’15 budget: Sitka wins infrastructure projects

Governor Parnell’s capital budget will send several million dollars to Sitka, but the lion’s share of district funding will be for transportation projects in Haines and Prince of Wales Island.

The budget is preliminary, and subject to change by the legislature, but as things stand, Sitka will see:

$790,000 for water and sewer improvements on Monastery and Baranof streets.
$570,000 for the same on Hollywood Way and Archangel St.
$667,000 for the same on Jeff Davis St.
There’s also $100,000 for deferred maintenance to the city-state building downtown, and $1.7-million for deferred maintenance at Mt. Edgecumbe High School.

The largest item in the governor’s budget for Sitka is $2.7-million for a new transient float in Thomsen Harbor.

Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins believes these are all good uses of state funding.

“I’m really pleased that there are common-sense investments in basic infrastructure for Sitka.”

Kreiss-Tomkins is also happy to see money going to improve the ferry terminals in Angoon and Kake, so passengers won’t have to wait in the rain to board ships. Those projects are $1.8- and 3-million respectively.

Haines is also in Kreiss-Tomkins’ district. That city will see $20-million dollars in modifications to its ferry terminal to accommodate the new Alaska-class ferries when those ships are built.

Another big-ticket item is on Prince of Wales Island: $10-million dollars to resurface the Hydaburg Road.

Kreiss-Tomkins says this money is long overdue.

“That thing is so cratered, you’d think it came out of a war zone. It’s hugely welcome news to anyone who lives on Prince of Wales Island.”

The governor’s budget is not final until it’s adopted by the legislature, and that could take months of wrangling. The session opens in January.


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