I have always viewed the dam in the same way I have the Bridge To Nowhere project. The cost projections always seemed to be too low and unless you own a company who builds dams or bridges across oceans in the most active earthquake zone on the continent neither project seems fiscally intelligent.
I'm sure folks wonder why some here are so skeptical of these huge capital ventures. Here's some food for thought, the numbers are close but not exact because I have not looked them up in a while.
About 10 or 11 years ago the Matsu Borough decided that they would buy a Ferry with federal grant money and money from the treasury. They bought a really nice ferry for somewhere around twelve million dollars. The idea was to provide a fast trip across Cook Inlet to Anchorage from Pt. McKinsey. This is the same crossing area proposed for the infamous Bridge to Nowhere project.
So they use the property tax revenue to buy this multi million dollar ferry but there is a problem. There is no terminal for it on either side of the ocean inlet, not at Pt. McKinsey or Anchorage............... How could that happen? You mean you bought a 12.3 million dollar boat and have no where to put it? !!
It seems that was the case so they paid to store it for 10 years while they tried to wrangle how to put it into service. So it sat, but not for free, the costs for storage ran over another million; Go Figure, I'd love to own that storage lot............
So they put it up for sale at 6 million dollars but there were no takers. So they dropped it to 3, then finally to 2. An offer from the Philippines came in and a deal was made. But there was a problem. Heavy rains a couple years ago had flooded the engine hold and damaged the engines but the deal was made.
being held to the auspices of the contracted sale MatSu (we) now had to get those engines working...................
The cost of replacing the engines in this 172 foot ferry boat was 3 million dollars and in an effort to avoid breech of contract on the sale and delivery they (we) fixed the boat!
The ferry is gone now and when the additional 1.5 million loss is added to the grand total the Borough spent somewhere north of 17.3 to 18.3 million dollars and never delivered a single passenger or car across Cook Inlet.
They spent local Tax revenue, they spent federal money and they got nothing at all. Most have been voted back into office and no they are not the Democratic party people.
The people and the state government here scream that they want the Feds out of our life, out of our life that is until we need a few billion of the Tax dollars you folks in the other 49 states pay every week of your lives.
So if ever you hear that They (Alaska) are going ahead with the Dam or The bridge, don't be silly enough to believe that every tax paying American doesn't have a dog in the fight. This place has been a private club since it was purchased from Russia. And some of the boondoggles and money pits (with eager hands at the bottom) that our conservative leaders here have launched are beyond belief.
For the real stories about the ferry you can use these.......
Of course there are more if you search the news..................... No Susitna Dam!