Anchorage Daily News
Author: James Brooks
The Alaska Municipal League is asking state lawmakers to take out a loan to pay for needed port and harbor improvements across Alaska, including work at the Port of Alaska in Anchorage.
But top lawmakers aren’t yet willing to go along, saying the state first needs to resolve a $1.5 billion deficit forecast for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
Alaska has slashed its capital budget for years, leading to a billion-dollar backlog of deferred maintenance projects at state facilities and on municipal infrastructure that was built by the state in fat years when oil prices were high and revenue was available.
“There is a lack of funding. There’s a need for funding so we can maintain and improve the facilities around the state,” said Bryan Hawkins, Homer’s harbormaster and president of the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators.