Local News

Local projects don’t make governor’s budget

Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island didn’t fare too well in the governor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget, with just $2.3 million in deferred maintenance funds included for Ketchikan’s public health center, regional youth facility and Pioneers Home.

The only addition to that is $500,000 for the Inter-Island Ferry Authority.

Ketchikan Gateway Borough Manager Dan Bockhorst says it’s disappointing that none of the capital projects on Ketchikan’s priority list made it into the governor’s budget, but it wasn’t a shock.

“We knew as other communities in the state are aware, that the state budget is getting much tighter. So it’s not too much of a surprise,” he said.

Bockhorst pointed out that the capital budget process has just begun, and area projects still can be added during the upcoming legislative session.

He also noted that an allocation for statewide education funding will benefit Ketchikan.

“The governor included in his budget $25 million for school districts statewide that will be allocated to school districts based on student counts. It’s speculated that the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District will receive roughly $440,000 or so. That helps to offset the quarter of a million dollar increase in the required local contribution that we’re going to be facing, so it’s not all good news,” he said.

The governor’s budget listed federal funds for some area projects, too. Those federal grants will go toward resurfacing the Hydaburg Road on Prince of Wales, paving the remaining section of gravel at the end of South Tongass Highway, and widening Tongass between Deermount Street and Saxman.

Governor Sean Parnell unveiled his budget today, proposing $1.3 billion less spending throughout the state, and cutting 150 jobs.

Parnell’s budget totals $5.6 billion in state general funds. The spending plan adds up to $12.4 billion when the Permanent Fund, federal grants and other funds are included.

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