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KETCHIKAN - The Tongass will get a piece of the federal stimulus package pie.
Tongass vies for federal stimulus money 031809 NEWS 2 Capital City Weekly KETCHIKAN - The Tongass will get a piece of the federal stimulus package pie.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Story last updated at 3/18/2009 - 8:55 pm

Tongass vies for federal stimulus money

KETCHIKAN - The Tongass will get a piece of the federal stimulus package pie.

Its will amount to about $2.4 million to take care of a backlog of building maintenance and stream or road construction in the Tongass and Chugach national forests.

The U.S. Forest Service got everything it asked for in this initial list of highest-priority projects that were ready to go. The agency has asked for about $162 million more, and hasn't heard yet whether those projects will be funded, said Phil Sammon, a Tongass spokesman in Ketchikan.

Some of the money will replace "legacy" funds for conservation that were specified for trails and roads. Sammon said the agency doesn't know yet what it will do with the freed-up funds.

Sammon estimated the projects would mean about 22 jobs through contractors hired for the work.

Tongass projects now funded for this year:

• On Chichagof Island, 38 miles of road rehabilitation, including erosion control, ditch clearing and the rebuilding of 120 failing culverts and 10 blocked fish crossings.

• Nine miles of road reconstruction on Mitkof Island, south of Petersburg, in an area used for recreation and subsistence.

• Reconstruction of a float system that supports the bear viewing administrative camp at Anan Creek, between Wrangell and Ketchikan. About 6,000 tourists visit each year.

• Foundation slab work for the Petersburg forest supervisor's office building, where 48 people work. It currently doesn't meet building codes.

• Replacement of the Eight Fathom Bight cabin on Chichagof Island. It's used by Forest Service staff and for recreation.

Other projects around the state include work on three deteriorated Forest Service buildings in Cordova and a new building for hazardous materials storage at Kenai Lake.


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