Sales Tax wrong choice to fund Second Crossing

Posted: Monday, September 27, 2010

Count me among the Juneau residents who would favor a second crossing if it is in the right location, is designed properly, and uses the most appropriate funding source.

Proposition 2 is premature in that the location of the crossing is not certain. I could support the Salmon Creek or Vanderbilt Hill options, but don't think Sunny Point is environmentally viable. Even if the Sunny Point was the preferred option, it likely would take more pile supports and a higher bridge to receive permits, if it can be permitted at all. That, in turn, would dramatically increase the price tag. It seems to me unusual to be asked on the ballot to make such an expensive decision without knowing where the project will be built and how much it will cost.

I also believe sales tax receipts are needed for higher local priorities. State funding for municipal needs will be under serious pressure in the coming years due to decreasing oil flow from the North Slope. Ninety-plus million dollars (likely considerably more) would be better spent on schools, maintenance of existing infrastructure, the hospital, recreational facilities, public safety, etc. State and federal funds are better choice for this project.

I understand the frustration of the proponents of Proposition 2 that the second crossing has still not climbed to the top of the priority list for these funds. Perhaps that is because there is still no local consensus on the location, cost and design of the crossing.

Reed Stoops


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