September 26, 2009
Saturday AM

Ketchikan, Alaska - During the week of September 14, 2009, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough published and distributed an informational pamphlet concerning propositions to be considered by voters at the October 6 Borough election. The portion of the pamphlet concerning the proposed $23.5 million bond for the proposed new swimming pool listed existing general obligation bonded debt of the City of Ketchikan and the Borough. Comments were received by the Borough that information regarding existing revenue bonded indebtedness should have been included. The information below provides a complete listing of general obligation bonded indebtedness and revenue bonded indebtedness of the Borough and the City of Ketchikan.

According to information provided in a news release, the Borough currently has $24,965,000 in general obligation bonded indebtedness for schools (the equivalent of $1,921 for each of the 12,993 Borough residents). The State of Alaska reimburses the Borough for 70% of the principal and interest paid on those bonds. Additionally, the Borough has debt in the form of airport and ferry revenue bonds in the amount of $2,755,000 ($212 per resident). Revenue from airport and ferry operations pays for those bonds.

In addition to the Borough debt, the City of Ketchikan has $7,350,000 in general obligation debt for the hospital, port, and sewers. Further, the City has $56,170,000 debt in the form of KPU and port revenue bonds. The principal and interest on the City's revenue bonds are paid by KPU ratepayers in the case of the KPU revenue bonds and by cruise ship passengers in the case of the Port revenue bonds.

According to a news release from the office of the Borough Manager, Dan Bockhorst, the combined Borough and City general obligation debt is $32,315,000. The combined Borough and City revenue bonded indebtedness totals $58,925,000. Altogether, the combined Borough and City general obligation and revenue bonded indebtedness equals $91,240,000. If voters approve the proposition to incur debt for the new swimming pool, combined City and Borough debt would equal $114,740,000. The State of Alaska will pay at least 14.3% of principal and interest on the pool bonds. The Borough has appealed for a higher payment in the amount of 23%.

The following table summarizes the information above.

jpg Debt


Source of News:

Ketchikan Gateway Borough


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