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If your ears have been burning lately, it might be because Ketchikan is part...

Ketchikan High School will be the host school for a...

Thomas Francisco “Cisco” Martinez Jr., 54, died Jan. 5, 2018, in Juneau. He was born Aug. 21, 1963, in Ketchikan.

With the library, the downtown fire hall and swimming pool complete, the question is: What will the city and borough do this year in the way of capital projects?

Between the two, the answer is about $56 million in improvements.

Most of the projects range from $4,000 to $400,000, but a few big-ticket items exceed $1 million.

Key among them is the Whitman Lake Hydroelectric Plant, overseen by Ketchikan Public Utilities' electric division, which anticipates spending $4 million on the project in 2013.

The telecommunications division expects to spend $3.1 million for 4G mobile and $1.9 million for a microwave link to Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

The city has allotted $1.2 million for pursuing the Ketchikan Medical Center upgrade and expansion.

City Hall itself will receive an exterior renovation, including a new roof, for $1.7 million.

Berth I and II replacement, the project's third phase, is the most expensive expenditure for a single project at $8 million. Another $861,500 will be invested in waterfront improvements, ranging from painting and staining the harbormaster building to public art for a new rain gauge sign.

The Ketchikan School District has several projects scheduled for the summer and fall, beginning with upgrades at Walker Field near Schoenbar Middle School ($232,000), installation and addition of fences and improved access for the disabled at Dudley Field ($400,200), demolition of Mike Smithers Community Pool ($2.3 million) and Valley Park bus pullout ($314,775). Of the nearly $7 million in school district projects, only those four are scheduled with definite starting times in 2013.

Other projects for the borough this year include an airport visitors shelter (price undetermined), airport parking and lighting improvements (just more than $2 million), installation of an emergency generator for the South Tongass Fire Station ($234,000), Phase III of the White Cliff building renovation ($70,000), and rehabilitation of the Grant Street Park ($150,000).

Ketchikan is preparing for the future by maintaining and upgrading as is necessary. That's the way to go.