A couple of resolutions related to state funding for local projects are in front of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly on Monday.
One resolution calls on the governor and Legislature to maintain funding for the Gravina Access Improvement Project, rather than divert those funds elsewhere in the state.
The state has designated about $90 million for improved access to Gravina Island. As of last spring, those plans included new ferry berthing facilities, ferry passenger areas, parking improvements, an improved freight area, two new 24-passenger airport shuttles, road work on Gravina Island, replacing the Airport Creek bridge and building a hiking trail from Gravina Highway to Black Sands Beach State Park.
That $90 million is what’s left of a 2005 earmark originally meant for a bridge to Gravina. The bridge project was canceled, and most of the $360-million earmark was directed to other transportation projects elsewhere in the state. Local officials worked closely with area representatives and then-Gov. Bill Walker to have the remaining funds designated for Ketchikan projects.
The resolution includes other policy priorities for the borough, such as not increasing the cost to local governments for the Public Employee Retirement System; replacing both Waterfall bridges on North Tongass Highway; and continued sharing of Commercial Passenger Vessel excise tax funds.
The other resolution adds three projects to the borough’s list of capital priorities. The new projects would be $5.3 million for reconstruction of Norman Walker Field; $150,000 to update the approximately 13-year-old Gravina Island development plan; and $12 million for road construction and improvements on Revilla and Gravina islands.
If approved, the three projects would be added to an existing list of six. Projects already on the list are water storage tanks for North Tongass-area fire suppression; deferred maintenance at Ketchikan International Airport; security upgrades at Ketchikan High School; South Tongass water improvements; a major mechanical upgrade at Fawn Mountain Elementary School; and upgrades to the Mountain Point wastewater treatment plant.
Monday’s assembly meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in borough assembly chambers at the White Cliff building. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.