Wednesday, April 02, 2008

State moola

According to yesterday's News-Miner, the Senate budget bill, SB 221, includes $50,000 for the Ester library. What they didn't say is that the Ester Volunteer Fire Department also was included, with approximately $300,000 for the building expansion and improvements. (This was an early inclusion, so there weren't any surprises there, but it is yet another Interior project--a much-needed one--that made it this far.)

Here's a tip of the hat and a BIG THANK YOU to Senator Joe Thomas, member of the Senate Finance Committee, who went to bat for us on these, and to Representative David Guttenberg, who helped us on the library. Special thanks to Jeff Stepp, aide to Guttenberg!

At this point, the funds are still not guaranteed—the bill has to get past the House again and then make it by the governor, but these two projects are worthy ones and benefit residents from Nenana to North Pole, and all the tourists and visitors in between.


Independent Alaskan said...

Was this budgeted at he House level too? Sometimes, it's really up to the conference committee to decide the fate of the whole budget. Of course, the last word is always by Palin's magic pen. Magical, because it makes funds disappear in seconds!

Deirdre Helfferich said...

I'm not sure which "this" you're talking about. The library funds came from the House side originally, I think, a cooperative effort. At any rate, it was Guttenberg's office that contacted me about the idea. The Ester Community Association has done a good job in the past on building things for under budget and managing grants properly, so we've got a track record, which also probably helps. We've got a lot of volunteerism in Ester, which is why.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed. We'll build the thing one way or another, but these funds will mean we can get it done much, much sooner. It'll help us get grants from other organizations, too.

Ishmael said...

Someone named Guttenberg darn well better support books.