The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Rocking the Boat


The following is from the editorial page of the Aug. 6, 1987 Seward Phoenix LOG.

BUILDING OUR FUTURE... Last week city administration officials hosted a couple of bus loads of local residents on a tour of the Spring Creek Correctional Facility, the Seward Marine Industrial Center, and the soon to be Spring Creek Seafood Park.

Folks, the potential of the Fourth of July Creek site is awesome! If all goes according to plan, and we’re confident it will, that area across the bay will soon become one of the most diversified industrial bases in Alaska.

Here’s why.

When the prison opens next spring, there will be over 200 year round stable jobs created. That’s a given. Where the potential lies is in prison industries. Already a sure thing is the contract which calls for ALAGO, an Anchorage company, to manufacture concrete ties for the Alaska Railroad. That contract will result in 15 jobs outside the walls in the private sector. And that’s just the beginning. Other proposals are being considered.

Despite the fact that the shiplift lacked a transfer system, over 70 vessels have been repaired, overhauled or maintained. Now under construction are the rails and cradles which will allow for multiple operators to work on vessels ranging from Tustumena-sized ships to fishing boats. The number of jobs will number over 40.

Perhaps the most exciting opportunity is the proposed Spring Creek Seafood Park. Building a bulkhead to stop the erosion of the north shoreline will result in the construction of a 700-foot long dock. That is expected to become the cornerstone of Seward’s commitment to become a major port for the bottom fish industry.

Additional wharfs will be built between the shiplift and the bulkhead which will help alleviate the crowded conditions we now experience during peak periods of the fishing season.

When the cold and dry storage complex is built and the processors are in place, over 200 people will be working.

What that means is that within a relatively short period of time, perhaps no more than two years, there will be over 500 jobs across the bay. That’s almost twice as many now employed by the local processing plant and AVTEC!

What’s it all due to? Well, back in the late 1970s, the community leaders made the decision that they were going to develop a climate favorable to attracting new industries. They didn’t want anything built that wouldn’t contribute to the tax base. It was a decision that is now beginning to pay off.

Seward is on the threshold of a strong, thriving local economy fueled by the seafood, education, transportation, ship repair, prison and tourist industries. It’s going to be an exciting time over the next few years and we’re looking forward to it.

THE FORT... Gov. Cowper left intact the $80,000 legislative appropriation for improved access to Caines Head State Park which is located seven miles from downtown Seward. The site of the WWII-eara Fort McGilvray is bound to become one of the area’s premier visitors’ attractions once a trail is developed.

Since its creation, the park has received scant attention from the state division of parks. That’s all changed now, thanks to our legislative delegation who made it a priority item for funding.

In the whole scheme of things, Caines Head plays an important role in our visitors’ industry. We don’t want to be a one-attraction town. The more attractions we have, them ore satisfied arrivistes will be with what we have to offer. And that’s our objective – to have happy visitors.


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