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John MacKinnon's My Turn in the Aug. 13 Juneau Empire was right on the mark. Our interim city manager rightly argues that the City and Borough of Juneau should continue work on the Lena Point access road for the new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration facility.
My Turn: We are doing the right thing with funds
Continuing to build the road while we consider and solve the funding problems demonstrates critical leadership and a commitment to completing this much need addition to our community.
It isn't surprising that the NOAA project bids exceeded original estimates. After all it has been years since the planning process began. Now that the bids are in, we simply need to address the latest issue; funding. The city Assembly should immediately guarantee an interest-free loan to move the project forward. With the full funding in place the facility will be built and we can turn our attention to working with our congressional delegation to secure the monies to repay the city.
If that does not work, we can issue municipal bonds or use money from our rainy-day fund. There are many options. The point is our Assembly needs to move forward and assure the University of Alaska and NOAA that this project is a top priority for Juneau. The long-term benefits of the quality employment this facility will bring to our community far outweigh the cost of completing the project.
Past president, Juneau Chamber of Commerce