Throughout the years the Alaska Aerospace Corporation’s land use agreement with the state has confined it to 3,700 acres at Narrow Cape. However, using federal taxpayers’ dollars and/or state of Alaska appropriations, it went outside the restricted boundary and purchased its own ‘vacation get away’ house at Pasagshak for its CEO and others to stay when in town. What entitles a state agency to purchase a private home with federal/state funds? 

 The AAC also put out a $1 million bid recently looking for someone to provide a lodging facility somewhere between Narrow Cape and Kalsin Bay for military/government personnel to stay in by May of next year. Logistically it does not seem possible for new lodging to be constructed for 150-300 people for that amount of money in that time limit. However, according to the AAC, “the lodging facility can be new construction or rehabilitated facilities brought in from other locations.” Currently, the only facility already in place that meets ‘rehabilitated’ requirements is the Narrow Cape Lodge which was originally a prefab building shipped to Kodiak. Perhaps the AAC has plans to spend more federal/state funding to purchase the lodge. The AAC said the lodging facility could be offered to the general public at the same time as government and commercial customers use it (priority given to AAC customers). In that case, it would be in direct competition with local lodging businesses.

 Kodiak has four representatives sitting on the AAC board, which are Sen. Stevens and Rep. Stutes (non-voting), Tom Walters and Lindsay Knight (voting). It would be nice to know their position regarding a state agency using federal/state funds to purchase housing from private individuals. This is a corporation that in over 20 years has not paid the state any dividends it was required to pay under the original agreement.

 Another issue is, currently our local AAC representatives are not ‘privy’ to classified information because they do not have security clearances, which is a concern when it comes to future activities at Narrow Cape that could affect the public’s welfare. For example, from the beginning the public was told there would never be any nuclear material stored at Narrow Cape or used in launches. What if that were to change and our local representatives had no knowledge? It seems the AAC is veering off on its own pathway, thinking it no longer has to answer to the Kodiak borough or public, even though it is still a state agency with regulations and an agency that can not survive without the federal government’s support.

 

Carolyn Heitman

Kodiak

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