Mayor Sullivan lauds Governor Parnell’s port bond proposal
Contact: Sarah Erkmann
ANCHORAGE- Today, Mayor Dan Sullivan lauded Governor Sean Parnell’s proposal to include a $350 million bond for Alaska ports in his 2013 State budget plan. Under Parnell’s plan, and if approved by voters, the Port of Anchorage would receive additional funding for its crucial expansion project.
“I am pleased that Governor Parnell recognized the need for improvements, not only to our port, but to ports across the state,” said Sullivan. “In Anchorage, we say that if you drive it, eat or wear it, it arrived through our port. It’s gratifying to see our effort to make the expansion project viable and to move it forward is acknowledged by the Governor. Now we look forward to working with legislators to secure the additional funds still needed.”
In recent months, Mayor Sullivan and members of his administration have made several key changes to the Port of Anchorage expansion project. Under the mayor’s leadership, the Municipality of Anchorage established an oversight committee that benchmarks the progress and measures performance of the federal agency and contractors that have been managing the expansion; provided for the city and the Port to be indemnified from any damage caused to the Port by contractors; added a full-time, on-site project manager; scaled down the design to be smaller and less expensive; and engaged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to perform an audit of the expansion’s design.
In his annual State budget speech that he delivered to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce today, Governor Parnell proposed putting to the voters a statewide general obligation bond package for municipal ports for approval in November 2012.
Parnell cited financial returns as the reason for a bond at this time. With interest rates at record lows, state savings accounts earn more than the cost of financing such infrastructure.