March 8, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 10

Despite approving many resolutions, City Council holds off on planned 'tax-free' day

Petersburg Municipal Power & Light has purchased a new stand-by diesel generator that will assist in high-energy demand cycles, when the city is cut-off from its main power supply, Tyee.

Petersburg City Council on Tuesday approved a bid from ASCR McGraw Constructors for $724,000, for the construction of a concrete platform, the construction of a control shack and installation of underground wiring.

“It is a stand-alone unit that is to be used in case the city is ever cut off from Tyee,” said PMPL Superintendent Joe Nelson in a phone interview.

The bid was $174,000 above the engineer's estimate, but the project is under-budget by $343,425, according to Nelson.

According to Nelson, the current diesel generator system is not adequate to act as a back-up on its own. The new generator is a series 4000 V20 Cylinder, 3673 Brake Horsepower(BHP) system coupled to a 2000KW continuous, 4160V Marathon Generator. It’s being assembled and shipped from Enercon Engineering Manufacturing, in Arizona.

“It's a portable unit. It doesn't need to be in a building,” Nelson said. The generator will be housed in Scow Bay, not in town with the other diesel generators, Nelson said.

The project is scheduled to be completed near the end of summer, Nelson added.

The City Council approved the “authorization to enter into a professional services agreement” with PND Engineers on several projects including the design of the Landfill Slope Stabilization Project 2 , which is budgeted at $43,330. Engineering services for the Rasmus Enge Bridge Evaluation Project, Task 1, were approved for a budget of $27,020. The North Harbor Reconstruction Project, Concept 6, Tasks 1—5 was also approved for an estimated $502,187.

The City Council also approved to amend the Professional Services Agreement with PND to add Design Services for Wastewater Pump Station 5.

In all instances Councilman Rick Braun offered to recuse himself from voting due to his ties with PND, but the remaining councilmen approved his eligibility to vote.

The City Council also passed a resolution to allow the City Manager to get the ball rolling on a program to secure a $200,000 grant for fixtures, furnishings, and equipment for the new public library.

A Resolution in Favor of SB 171 (Base Student Allocation) the Petersburg School District Board of Education had requested the Council join them in supporting the Senate Bill. SB 171 provides predictable and stable funding for school districts over the next three fiscal years.

And the council approved a resolution against HB 145 (Parental Choice Scholarship Program). The school board is also opposed to the House Bill, which would remove funds from local school districts to provide funds for private school options.

Don Koenigs was the lone dissenter to the vote on HB 145. “I think the individual parents should have the right to choose,” Koenigs said.

A discussion sparked by a resolution of a Sales Tax Free Day in the City of Petersburg for May 5, 2012 was tabled. The Council asked for another meeting to discuss the best time of year for a Sales Tax Free Day, citing that May 5th may be too busy of a day to pass-up sales tax revenues.

“You can't get much bigger than May 5th, with so much going on,” said Councilor Susan Flint.

The Council also recognized John McCabe for his $12,040 endowment with the Alaska Community Foundation to fund arts education at the Petersburg Public Library. Interest earned from the fund (about $400 annually) will be available for arts programming at the library, according to the Council.

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