Knowles calls for $212 million bonds for construction projects

Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles introduced legislation to float $212 million in bonds to pay for a two-year school construction and maintenance plan.

Knowles will ask the Legislature to put the measure on the Nov. 2002 ballot. It would finance $210 million in projects over two years.

''This addresses about a third of the total school construction and repair needs,'' said Bob King, Knowles press secretary.

Alaska's current school construction list has 57 projects that would cost the state $490 million. The state's major maintenance list includes 115 projects that would cost the state $151 million.

The plan would make available $101 million for fiscal year 2003 and $109 million starting in 2004. The remaining $2 million would pay the cost of the bond sale, the governor's office said.

The projects would cost the state $10.1 million in fiscal year 2004 and $21 million annually after both rounds of bonds are sold, the governor's office said.

In recent years, school construction money has come from Alaska Housing Finance Corporation dividends, the tobacco settlement, and urban school debt reimbursement funded by tobacco taxes. These revenue sources are not available this year, the governor's office said.

More than $138 million would go to rural areas, $35 million to Anchorage projects, $11 million for work in the Fairbanks and North Pole areas, and $25.8 million for Southeast Alaska.

Senate Finance Co-chairman Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, said he had not seen the proposal, which was announced Friday in Anchorage. ''I think there is going to be a bond package,'' Kelly said.

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