Gov. Sean Parnell warned Ketchikan when he visited recently that his budget would reflect a lower level of spending than previous years, and he wasn’t kidding.
The budget released Friday was more than a billion dollars less than the current year. It shows about $21 million for House District 33 projects. Of that, about $14 million is from the state. The remainder is from federal grants.
Ketchikan City Mayor Lew Williams III said he’s not surprised.
“He came in here last week saying that things are going to be tighter, and he pretty much prepared us that it wasn’t going to be a treasure trove of grants from the state this year,” he said.
Williams said none of the projects on the Ketchikan community priority list were funded. Those included city bridge and trestle repairs, the Ketchikan Medical Center renovation, Mahoney Lake dam and the performing arts center.
“I’m happy to see we got the state matching grant for the drive down ramp for Bar Harbor,” he said. “That’s a biggie. We’ve got money from the borough, from the city, now the state, we can get that drive down ramp not only for commercial fishermen, but charter fisherman and anyone who needs to utilize the facility”
Also in the governor’s budget is funding for water and sewer projects on Jackson and Monroe Streets, and for the waterfront promenade. Williams said the community has in years past received significantly more from Parnell’s budgets.
“We’ve been spoiled for the last couple years by the state, so I’m not disappointed by this year,” he said. “I believe last year we got about $50 million, and this year it’s $13 million.”
In neighboring House District 34, Metlakatla received $14.5 million to renovate the elementary school.