Governor Parnell in the KFSK studio. Photo by Joe Viechnicki

Governor Sean Parnell says he supports renovating the Petersburg police station and borough office building but doesn’t think the state will foot all the bill.

Parnell declared his support of the project during a visit to Petersburg Monday.
“I actually had the chance to walk through with the police chief and the mayor and city manager through the police station and to see the kind of decrepit state of the building,” Parnell said.

Although the project is not in the capitol budget right now, he says it still could be funded this session. However, he says the community should pony up some local money if they want to see action on it soon.

“Those projects that come forward asking for a hundred percent state funding tend to get a lower priority with legislators than those that have a local match,” Parnell said. “And so if a local government can match either using general fund reserves or using a bond issue or something, that is usually viewed favorably by legislators.”

The state has already put in just over four million dollars into the project leaving six million still needed.

This is the advice that the Governor gave to Petersburg leadership Monday:

“In the budget environment in Juneau, it is far easier to come forward as a community and say, ‘here’s how much we can put into the project, we need you now to step forward with more’,” Parnell said.

Petersburg officials went to the state Capital last month seeking funding.

The structure was built in 1958 and was originally used to house the police and fire departments, the library, and city offices.

The proposed renovations would include a new entry and parking area for borough offices, enclosed garage for the police station and would use pre-manufactured jail cells. The building would be heated and cooled with air source heat pumps.