Assembly Finalizes State Project Wishlist

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Jay Barrett/KMXT
At Thursday night’s Kodiak Island Borough Assembly meeting, the capital improvements list was approved. It’s the borough’s “wish list” for project funding that is sent to the governor and our legislative delegation each year.
Borough Manager Bud Cassidy informed the assembly of some recent changes to the list:
“Based on your comments at the last work session, we’ve done a couple of things. You met with both representatives from Senator Steven’s office as well as Representative Austerman, and they suggested a few changes and you agreed. So what we did was eliminated two projects; one was extending public utilities to Swampy Acres, and also elimination of the Antone Larson switchback project. We also moved up to number three, third priority project is the Antone Larson Road extension.”
That project would take the road out to waters ice-free during the winter to better serve islanders on the West Side.
The top priority for the assembly was $1.8-million more for the landfill’s expansion, which includes its own wastewater treatment plant.
Project 2 on the Borough’s list is asking the Governor to include $50-million toward construction of the ferry that will someday replace the Tustumena. Total cost is expected to be $250-million, and the ship is currently in the design phase.
As Cassidy noted, the Anton Larsen Bay Road extension was moved up to number three, with a request of $6-million.
A half-million dollars are being sought to study the feasibility, planning and design of providing water and sewer service to the 256 residential parcels in Monashka Bay, which is currently outside the City of Kodiak’s reach.
Four-million dollars is being requested for road improvements and paving, $180,000 for traffic flow improvements at East Elementary School, and the same amount for parking improvements at Peterson Elementary.
Though he voted for the list, which passed unanimously, Assemblyman Mel Stephens said juggling priorities year-over-year might not be the best practice.
“If a project has a certain priority in one year, it’s hard for me to fathom why that priority should change the next year. There’s certainly reasons why that might come about, but what tends to happen is people come in and get behind a particular project and ‘oh, lets move this up one and let’s move this other one down one.’ I don’t really know if that’s the most effective way to present our CIP list.”
He also asked that more complete back up documentation be provided in future CIP lists.

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