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Content (C) 2008
Wrangell Sentinel
Published weekly by
Pilot Publishing, Inc.


$6.6 million for local projects

in capital budget first draft

April 14, 2011

Keith Chaplin

After Wrangell was overlooked in the Governor’s initial budget going into this legislative session, $6.6 million in projects was included in the first draft of the capital budget as this year’s session approaches its conclusion.

After being examined, altered and added to by the house, the budget will be given to the Governor, who will use his veto power if necessary.

The finance committee released a $2.875 billion list statewide, emphasizing education and energy, and committing to saving $2 for every $1 spent, Sen. Bert Stedman said Tuesday.

The largest line item included in the capital budget is $3.7 million to re-pave the high traffic areas of the Wrangell Marine Repair Facility, more commonly known as the boat yard.

Sen. Bert Stedman, a co-chair on the Senate Finance Committee said Tuesday that getting funding to improve the Wrangell Marine Repair Facility is much needed.

“We need to continue to enhance the harbors,” Stedman said.

Another $2 million was appropriated to replace Cassiar Street, and the Wrangell Cooperative Association will be receiving $500,000 for renovation of the Chief Shakes house if the funding survives the governors veto pen.

Two other projects include a re-wording of the Stikine Avenue project to allow for $390,000 to be utilized during the downtown revitalization program, Borough Manager Tim Rooney said.
The smallest line item linked to Wrangell is a $25,000 grant for an electric vehicle.

The grant, applied for last year was not expected, Rooney said, but would be used to look into the sustainability of using electric cars on Wrangell Island.

“We had no idea that was going to be in there,” Rooney said.

Rooney said there is a potential in the future for some or all of the borough’s fleet being some sort of electric vehicle.

Stedman said he anticipates the State House adding at least $500,000 per district.

“Last year Wrangell did exceptionally well,” Rooney said.

Wrangell received $7.6 million in funding last year, the highest line item being $3.25 million for the commercial passenger vessel facility.

Now that the Senate Finance Committee has released the initial numbers, they will be re-visited before being sent to the State House, before being sent to Gov. Sean Parnell.

Sen. Stedman said he foresees the state having savings upwards of $14-15 billion in the coming years, as savings becomes a priority.

See print edition for complete local coverage. Content (C) 2011 Wrangell Sentinel