The Alaska Aerospace Corporation has issued the required response to Governor Walker's executive order that it and other state departments and state-funded organizations cease any new spending on six very large projects due to the ongoing budget crisis.
Walker in December ordered the time out on the projects and asked the agencies to submit a letter describing their activities and laying out a rational for why they should be allowed to continue at this time.
In Alaska Aerospace CEO Craig Campbell's letter, he outlines a plan to actually return millions of dollars to the state.
“I met with Governor Walker on the 19th of December, and I don't think he was expecting that, because he wanted to talk about the RFP and where we were. And at the end of the meeting I basically told the chief of staff, I said, 'Look, we haven't signed any contract with Lockheed, we're in compliance with what you want.' They hadn't issued the AO at that time, but Jim had asked me, Jim Whitaker had asked me not to do any contracts. And I said, 'Well I'm in compliance.' I think we've got a great solution. An the end 22-million gets returned to the state and we only use 3-million and we go ahead and provide some increased capability.”
Campbell said he's standing by for the governor's decision on the AAC spending plan.
“I've lived in this state a long time. I was actually on the Anchorage Assembly the last time Oil dropped to below $9 a barrel back in the 80s, so I know how difficult it is to balance a government budget when your primary source of funding, basically, is cut in half. I'm here to solve problems with Governor Walker and the Legislature. And I think we can.”
Campbell says the clean up and rebuilding of the launch tower and assembly building that were damaged when an Army rocket exploded on liftoff in August is on schedule, and that he does not believe it is subject to the spending freeze.
“Our plan is to have that rebuilt by October of this year, because MilTec, with the customer is preparing for the second launch, the re-launch in 2016 and we have to have the facility ready for them to be able to do that. So we're on track and it's looking good and I like the work that's being done.”
Governor Walker has not given a timeline for when projects will be reviewed and be allowed to move forward. Others included in the order are roads to Ambler and Juneau, the Susitna Dam, small-diameter gas line and the Knik Arm Bridge.