Petersburg Pilot -

 
 

To the Editor

 


Sing Lee Alley bridge work needed

To the Editor:

If the city feels they can afford to spend 1.4 million dollars on property and take it off the tax rolls, then they should consider re-planking the Sing Lee Alley Bridge (or Indian Street bridge) before someone goes through it. Many of the planks are rotten and have holes, and it also would be easy to trip on some of the bent over spikes.

As for the borough, it will cost more money and we all will end up paying more taxes. The people that live in the outlying areas probably spend as much money in Petersburg as most of us that live here, and maybe more. They pay for any services they get while here and would not get any of the other services such as utilities, garbage pick up, etc. It would not benefit the schools as has been pointed out before. It is just a matter of the city wanting more money and they think this is a way to get it.

Sigrid Medalen

Purchase will benefit Petersburg’s economy

To the Editor:

I appreciate Dave Ohmer’s well stated letter to the Editor last week. I too believe both the Reid Marine Property acquisition and the raise in the sales tax are positive for the future of Petersburg.

The purpose and need for the Reid Marine Property is to provide public access to industrial waterfront property. This property presents an ideal opportunity to address this critical need. The 5.6 acre parcel of industrial land consists of uplands that will be used for shore side storage offered at a competitive rate and tidelands that include a valuable loading dock. This existing dock structure has gone through a condition assessment and structural analysis completed this summer by Dick Somerville and PND Engineers from Juneau. The engineer reported that the facility has over 70% of its original value left with approximately 10 years of life before repairs may have to occur.

Key points discussed by the Harbor Board and Staff include:

The Reid Family Trust divided the original property into three sections, separating out the piece that will benefit the public; the integrity of the dock facility is very good. The price for a new structure with current material costs and site preparation would be much, much higher; the permitting aspect of new construction has become very expensive and burdensome for Petersburg over the last decade. Future maintenance and repair of Reid’s Marine Property and Dock will fall under the general region “Nationwide #35 – Existing Basin Permit” so maintenance can just happen, the City will not have to undergo extensive permitting to do the maintenance; currently the Harbor Dept provides annual storage to approx 32 Bait Houses. The purchase of the Reid’s Marine Property will relocate commercial gear to make the Port Storage area available to adjacent business in order to grow their business footprint and the economy of Petersburg; two barge landing sites are regularly used at the Reid Marine Property and are especially suited for large landing craft use as well as the unloading of sand and gravel barges for construction company needs. This purchase will protect this valuable asset for Petersburg; congestion at the Crane Dock has become a challenge for our commercial fleet. The Petersburg commercial fishing fleet owns over 1,260 Alaska State fishing permits. It is not unusual to have vessels wait for extreme amounts of time prior to and after certain fishing seasons to allow for gear transfers; safety is also a concern as the Crane Dock approach serves as the entrance to the north end of the South Harbor. Fishing equipment transfers occur at the same time that pedestrians come and go from the South Harbor.

In short, the objective of purchasing the Reid Marine Property is to provide the public with a safe and efficient, deep water marine transfer facility adjacent to available shore side storage in order to support local commercial enterprise and fishing fleet which will in turn greatly benefit Petersburg’s economy.

Mike Bangs

Speak up, don’t sneak

To the Editor:

Whoever you are that’s throwing your propaganda pamphlets along our highway, roads, and trails, for quite some time now, please stop. If you have a message, speak-up, don’t sneak around in the night littering our community that so many of us try to keep clean.

Kris Kissinger

Together?

To the Editor:

You cannot help but notice all the signs about the proposed borough popping up all over the place. My favorite display is the one located on a tree in a driveway at about 2 mile where the Borough Up Together sign is on the same tree as the No Borough sign. I would love to be a fly on the wall when they are gathered around the dinner table.

The dichotomy apparent in the community is one that is centered in the pro-borough camp. They want us all to ‘Borough Up, Together’ after their lawyer, Jim Brennan, told us in Petersburg’s Reply Brief that we are ‘irrelevant’. Which is it? Are we outliers important or are we irrelevant? Or, does it just mean that the pro-borough faction is going to be ‘together’?

During the LBC hearings at the end of May, I overheard the lawyers for the pro-borough group referring to their meeting room as the ‘war room’. Apparently, they have declared war on those of us who oppose the borough. This is hardly a sentiment that fosters warm and fuzzy feelings in our hearts. Quite the opposite, actually.

Kathy O’Rear once asked Tom Reinarts and myself why we were so afraid of the ‘big bad borough’ coming after us. Shucks, I guess it is because you have declared war upon us and you consider us to be irrelevant.

George Cole

Keene Channel

 

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