Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/13/1993 01:00 PM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  SB 154:  ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT GRANT FUND                                     
  SENATOR GEORGE JACKO, PRIME SPONSOR OF SB 154, testified by                  
  reading his sponsor statement aloud, and referenced the new                  
  version, CSSB 154 (L&C).  (Copies of this sponsor statement                  
  and the committee substitute may be found in the House                       
  Community and Regional Affairs Committee Room, Capitol Room                  
  110, and after the adjournment of the second session of the                  
  18th Alaska State Legislature, in the Legislative Reference                  
  SENATOR JACKO added, "In summary, I want to say that this                    
  legislation (CSSB 154 (L&C)) is not intended as a                            
  replacement or a substitute for other capital funding                        
  programs, either in existence or being proposed.  The                        
  economic development grant program is intended as a separate                 
  program within the capital budget for municipalities...to                    
  access grants based solely on economic criteria."                            
  Representative Cynthia Toohey arrived in committee at 1:40.                  
  Number 089                                                                   
  in support of CSSB 154 (L&C) saying, "We were very                           
  enthusiastic when this first came to our attention.  One of                  
  the first things we did was look at some of our highest                      
  priority economic development projects for the future, and                   
  the one we came up with was one with the Port of                             
  DON DIETZ, PORT DIRECTOR, PORT OF ANCHORAGE, testified, "I                   
  spoke to many of you a little over a month ago explaining a                  
  couple of important capital projects.  One of those projects                 
  was a project that benefited a broad region of the state,                    
  one where an improvement may be done in the immediate area                   
  of the port for road, rail, utility extension and land                       
  development (and) will allow new economic development                        
  products to be brought into the state.  And predominantly,                   
  we are thinking of timber right now...  We believe our land                  
  development capital project grant request which is further                   
  defined in the six criteria, pretty much hits the nail on                    
  the head for this bill (CSSB 154)..."                                        
  MS. WILLIAMS added, "We also wanted to give the committee an                 
  example of something that would work for both the                            
  Municipality of Anchorage and the south central region and                   
  we think this project would fit that criteria."                              
  Number 134                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN OLBERG asked, "What's the source of the funding for                 
  the grants?"                                                                 
  SENATOR JACKO said, "This is enabling legislation that sets                  
  up the program...and sources of funds will be, of course,                    
  general funds passed down in the governor's capital project                  
  Number 142                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN OLBERG asked, "The Port of Anchorage is prepared to                 
  do the necessary match?"                                                     
  MR. DIETZ said absolutely and referred to a 70/30 match.                     
  Number 151                                                                   
  VICE-CHAIRMAN JERRY SANDERS asked, "Does this bill (CSSB 154                 
  (L&C)) call for a match?"                                                    
  SENATOR JACKO said, "There's no specific match.  It doesn't                  
  say you have to have 70/30, but the criteria, the way the                    
  bill (CSSB 154 (L&C)) is worded, is if you had 70 versus                     
  someone who had 50, you'd probably get more points, more                     
  likely to be recommended for the money."                                     
  MS. WILLIAMS said, "The way we understand the criteria, you                  
  also need to have private enterprise money..."                               
  MR. DIETZ added, "Basically, our port revenue funds are                      
  generated from profits from Sealand...and other businesses                   
  that come out of the port.  We're sure they are going to                     
  continue to support us in that regard.  We'll come up with                   
  that 2.1 million, I think, very easily if we get funded for                  
  this.  This project is also already designed.  We have all                   
  the permitting done on it and all the wetland mitigation, so                 
  it's ready to go this year, if we get funded."                               
  Number 174                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY asked, "Your profits...do they                 
  go into the municipality?"                                                   
  MR. DIETZ said, "Yes and no.  Actually our funds are                         
  governed by the municipality's monetary and auditing system.                 
  But the Port of Anchorage is like a utility.  It is not tax                  
  supported.  All of its revenues come from its business                       
  customers and leases of the port property to port business                   
  REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY clarified, "So you're basically self-                  
  MR. DIETZ concurred and said, "We actually contribute about                  
  175 to 200,000 dollars a year to general government for                      
  police, fire protection, and all the amenity things that we                  
  have there within the port..."                                               
  Number 189                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS asked, "How would Anchorage then                    
  apply for this under this bill (CSSB 154 (L&C)?  Who do they                 
  submit their application to and how would it be processed?"                  
  SENATOR JACKO responded, "The application would be submitted                 
  to the review committee which is headed up by OMB (Office of                 
  Management and Budget)...the committee would review their                    
  application and try to make a decision based on the criteria                 
  that's set forth in (the) legislation.  If they think it                     
  meets the criteria, they make the recommendation to the                      
  legislature that the project be funded."                                     
  Number 204                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS asked if smaller communities                    
  had the same criteria.                                                       
  SENATOR JACKO said, "What we've done with the unincorporated                 
  communities is asked that their applications be submitted                    
  through a regional ARDOR (Alaska Regional Development                        
  Organization).  The reason for that was because they felt                    
  the regional ARDORs had a better perspective of the whole                    
  region in terms of what the best economic development                        
  projects would be in the region, and that would reduce the                   
  number of applicants that would be submitted..."                             
  REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked how Ketchikan would be                         
  included in these ARDOR programs.                                            
  SENATOR JACKO said, "A municipality would be able to submit                  
  directly, unincorporated would go through an ARDOR.  The                     
  ARDOR wouldn't own the project; the project would be owned                   
  by the community."                                                           
  REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS proceeded, "So a community as small                  
  as Saxman can qualify for this?"                                             
  SENATOR JACKO said, "Certainly, if it's organized, some sort                 
  of city government or village council or something like                      
  Number 234                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked, "Is there a limit to the number                 
  of grants utilized every year?"                                              
  SENATOR JACKO said, "The limitation is the amount that we're                 
  able to get out of general funds...  It's up to the                          
  legislature to decide how much to appropriate."                              
  Number 243                                                                   
  VICE-CHAIRMAN SANDERS asked, "Did I understand that one of                   
  the criteria for this is the match, when they go judge on                    
  who they're going to give this money too, the bigger the                     
  match, the more likely you would receive the money?"                         
  SENATOR JACKO confirmed this.                                                
  VICE-CHAIRMAN SANDERS pointed out, "Is it probable then that                 
  all the money's going to rush where all the money is?  The                   
  ones who have the money to help themselves to make a match,                  
  the money's going to rush to them, isn't it?"                                
  SENATOR JACKO said, "Some of the money will be oriented to                   
  those proportions of the state where there is economic                       
  Number 256                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN OLBERG said, "Within the rating system is there an                  
  in-kind, similar to the governor's capital matching grant                    
  Number 262                                                                   
  "There is no limit on the number of projects, just on the                    
  amount of money...certainly small communities are encouraged                 
  and there's a mechanism, a very easy mechanism for them to                   
  use the ARDORs to access this money.  There is no weighted                   
  score for rural areas.  They would all be competing evenly                   
  against the number of jobs and the amount of economic                        
  activity they say that these projects would create.  The                     
  basis of the judgement for the projects...would be made on                   
  the basis of the six criteria in the bill (CSSB 154 (L&C))."                 
  REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS MOVED to PASS CSSB 154 (L&C) out of                 
  committee with individual recommendations.  There were no                    
  objections, and IT SO MOVED.                                                 
  Number 293                                                                   

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