Southeast representatives added dozens of projects worth about $13.5 million to the capital budget before it passed the House. They were included in the final public-works funding list passed by the Legislature before it adjourned.
One large project is the Lynn Canal Highway, slated to run north out of Juneau. It got $10 million toward construction from the capital budget and other sources.
Another is Ketchikan’s Medical Center addition, which picked up $5 million on top of $10 million already included by the state Senate.
Southeast’s four House members also added smaller community grants, most helping local government, social-service or similar groups.
Those ranged from $150,000 for Hydaburg teacher housing to $80,000 for Pelican fuel dock and float repairs.
The budget also includes $200,000 for manhole covers and sewer line repairs in Thorne Bay. Wrangell Representative Peggy Wilson says the lines can’t handle heavy storms.
“That system was so bad that when they have a lot going on it actually comes up through the manholes. And the manhole lids get floated away,” Wilson says.
The governor can veto projects in the capital budget.
The House did not restore some funding cuts made by the Senate. For example, close to $1.5 million for two Sitka water and sewer projects remained out of the budget.
The House also cut some items the Senate included. An example is $2 million for repairs to Juneau’s State Office Building parking garage.
Here’s a few other small projects added by the House:
- Juneau Filipino Community building repair and maintenance, at $80,000.
- Juneau’s Haven House transitional program for women released from prison, $50,000.
- Hollis Volunteer Fire Department Emergency Radio Equipment, at about $16,000.
- Port Protection boardwalk repairs and maintenance, at $18,000.
- $200,000 toward Saxman’s Mahoney Lake hydroelectric project.
- $500,000 for improvements to Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association facilities.
- The Haines School has a new top administrator this year, but it isn't Rich Carlson’s first time in the district. He held the same position during the 2015-2016 school year and Carlson said it feels like he never left.
- While millions of Americans went out of their way to travel somewhere to watch Monday’s eclipse for a few minutes, a few people took to the skies to watch it for hours.
- Juneau-based water testing company Admiralty Environmental said preliminary results show E. coli, a type of fecal coliform bacteria associated with human or animal waste, is present in the water.
- Skagway court has been without a local judicial officer. And that position isn’t set to be filled any time soon. Court system officials say the long-term plan is for a magistrate judge in Haines to handle cases from both Upper Lynn Canal communities.