Petersburg Pilot -

Assembly to discuss reallocation of Kake access road funding

 


The Petersburg Borough Assembly will discuss at its next meeting in February a request to the state asking the legislature to reallocate funding from the $40 million Kake Access Road project.

Many Petersburg residents have expressed criticism and concerns regarding the road that would connect Kake to northwest Kupreanof Island, where a proposed ferry would increase traffic in between the two communities, and think the project isn’t sustainable and won’t serve its expressed need.

The assembly discussed the idea of reallocating the funds during the January 19 meeting after Assembly Member Jeigh Stanton Gregor brought up the idea as a discussion item.

“I got to thinking about some of the larger capital projects in the borough and how to fund them,” Jeigh Stanton Gregor said. “It’s been in the forefront of all of our minds: the municipal building, the police station, the hospital comes to mind, a variety of harbor projects from here in town to Papke’s and beyond, and how to fund them given the local limitations and some of the large scale state limitations right now.”

Assembly member Kurt Wohlhueter said he’d be in favor of Kake receiving a bulk of the funding to work on a hydro electric dam project to meet their electricity needs should any funding be reallocated.

Assembly member Cindi Lagoudakis said any reallocation of funds be directed to match the original fund’s purpose, which was transportation and energy.

“…If we can’t even plow the road out to Banana Point to keep it functional all winter, I don’t see the Kake-Petersburg road as being able to serve the function of what it was originally intended and I’d like that money to be an effective economic engine in Southeast Alaska so I’d be very much in favor of writing a letter,” Lagoudakis said.

Mayor Mark Jensen said, although he’d like to see those funds redirected, he was hesitant about asking for fear of the state legislature putting the money back in its coffers.

“I think we should do a little research before we ask for something to be reallocated,” Jensen said. “It might be able to stay in our district. That would be a good hope.”

The Kake City Council may vote on a resolution regarding the project at its next meeting in February however Kake City Manager Rudy Bean refused to email the Pilot a copy of the resolution.

 

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