Several Peninsula Projects Make Governor's Budget

     During a luncheon at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage Thursday, Governor Sean Parnell unveiled his proposed 2015 state budget. The budget contains funding for a handful of construction projects on the Kenai Peninsula.

     Parnell’s proposed budget for 2015 is a bit leaner than this year’s, with about $1.3 billion dollars less in the general fund and the elimination of 150 state jobs. The total general fund spending would be $5.6 billion, more than 18 percent lower than this year.

     During his presentation Thursday, Parnell said the state would have to budget carefully during a time of lower oil prices.

     Of course, many people across Alaska will immediately turn their eye to the governor’s proposed capital budget – that’s the section that outlines spending for special construction projects.

     Parnell has more than $41 million dollars penciled in for projects in House Districts 28, 29 and 30 on the Kenai Peninsula. 

     In Seward, $17 million has been set aside for improvements that the airport. Another $400,000 is earmarked for maintenance at the Spring Creek Correctional Facility and $1 million would go toward repairs and maintenance at the AVTEC vocational school.

     On the central peninsula, just over $1 million is marked for maintenance at the Wildwood Correctional Facility in Kenai. $1.4 million dollars would go toward public access improvements at the mouth of the Kasilof River and $6 million would help improve and repave a six-mile stretch of Kalifiornsky Beach Road in Soldotna.

     The only project specifically mentioned in Parnell’s budget for the southern peninsula is $1.5 million dollars for ferry terminal improvements in Homer.

     Parnell’s proposal is just the first step toward a 2015 state budget. The subject will next be taken up by the 28th Alaska State Legislature. The governor says he does expect that once that processed is complete, the $5.6 billion figure will go up.

     The state legislature is set to gavel in January 21st.