Local News

Assembly to consider $2.5M Whitman Lake grant

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly on Monday will consider a $2.5 million grant to the City of Ketchikan to help fund the long-planned Whitman Lake hydroelectric dam project.

The ordinance calls for appropriating the money from the borough’s Economic Development Fund. If the Assembly approved the ordinance, a check still won’t go out to the city until after the Assembly also approves a negotiated grant agreement. That agreement should come before the Assembly on Dec. 17th.

At one point, the city had considered abandoning the Whitman Lake project because the cost of construction is over budget, even after reducing the scope. A suggestion that the borough could help prompted the City Council to move forward with the project.

The city has $23.7 million for Whitman — $15 million in voter-approved bonds and $8.7 million through a state grant. The cost reductions brought the total cost down to $26.2 million, leaving an approximately $2.5 million shortfall.

Construction on the project must begin in March, to comply with the federal license.

Also on Monday, the Assembly will consider appointing members of the ad hoc animal protection committee.

The Assembly meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in Assembly chambers at the White Cliff building. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.

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