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Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, April 12, 2002

Roads, schools too fragile to withstand more budget cuts

So, it seems the good old legislators in Juneau are saying they are going to hack a good portion of Department of Transportation jobs this year, huh? It must be nice to be a person sitting high in an office building, looking down at us dots on the road, and making decisions about our lives on a whim. All for the sake of keeping the "fluff" jobs that can easily be clipped from the budget.

The road conditions within the Kenai city limits and the borough are atrocious! Every spring our roads are trashed from the ice heaves and the thawing of winter ice. Anyone venturing onto side roads within the borough, or for that matter, the main roads in Kenai, and K-Beach Road knows what I mean. The potholes are tire busters.

There are huge ice crevasses on some of the side roads, ( I call them this because I almost lost my SUV in one yesterday!) all over the road, and they are just left there.

If you do not call the city or borough to have them scarf it or plow, it will just sit there until May in terrible condition.

Now picture them telling you, "I'm sorry, we can't plow your road, we are no longer budgeted for that. Just deal with it."

If we don't do something soon, that will be the answer we get when we call. Heck, maybe there won't even be a number listed to call. When I bought my house, had I known how badly the road is kept up I would have purchased a house in town. But, its too late now.

Talk about buyer beware.

Our roads are in bad enough condition without them cutting funding for the DOT. Please write our local and state representatives with your concerns, and see if we cannot stop this from continuing. We need to move on this before action is taken and precious jobs are lost, and the condition of our roads deteriorates even more.

I have a thought: What will the tourists think when their great big RVs get stuck in ruts and potholes this summer trying to access side roads to the river?

I wouldn't want to come back if it were me visiting. Our summer visitor count is going to be a lot less according to statistics after the Sept. 11 attacks as it is, why make it even worse? Lets face it, our economy isn't booming here, and we do rely on the tourist dollars a good deal.

Another thought to ponder. Wouldn't our state legislators have a cow if we all sent the state of Alaska a bill for the repairs to the front ends of our vehicles? All because of driving on "arctic conditions" that used to be maintained, but no longer are because of budget cuts?

Sounds like the best interests of the people of Alaska are not being considered, all in the name of the God almighty dollar. I'm sure there are a lot more areas of the budget that can be axed, and leave the schools and DOT alone.

Those are two departments that we cannot live without. Or, we could, but it would be a bumpy ride!

Kara Steele, Kenai



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