January 31, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 5

TBPA elects officers for coming year

The Thomas Bay Power Authority Commission met Wednesday morning to get updates on the Southeast Alaska Power Agency, SEAPA, Tyee and to elect officers for the new year.

John Jensen named 2013 TBPA President

Sitting Member at Large, Brian Ashton resubmitted his letter of interest for the position along with fellow Wrangell resident Mike Nash.

Ashton was appointed to the position once again and a nomination was placed for the current officers to remain at their posts for another year.

TBPA President for 2013 is John Jensen; Vice-President is Robert Larson and Secretary/Treasurer is Dave Galla.

An update to the commission regarding SEAPA came from Commissioner Joe Nelson, who is also a voting member of SEAPA.

“We are discussing a potential retreat for the SEAPA Board members in order to work on our mission statement,” Nelson said. “We had a mission statement presented to the CEO that we couldn't get a consensus on so it was felt that we need to get together to decide who SEAPA is and where SEAPA is going.”

SEAPA CEO, Trey Acteson was in Juneau recently talking to legislatures and has not presented a report at this time.

Nelson also gave an update for Petersburg which consisted of the new library project and the North Harbor project.

“We are working with the library for the new service to that facility,” Nelson stated. “We are also working on a complete rebuild of the North Harbor which will take some extensive modification.”

Wrangell has completed the conversion of their street lights to LED and are seeing favorable results.

“All of the street lights are running and have been changed over,” Commissioner Clay Hammer stated. “We are seeing a 45 percent decrease in power usage so far.”

According to Thomas Bay General Manager Paul Southland, Ketchikan has been running on diesel power 24 hours per day, seven days per week since mid December.

“This will be the first weekend in quite some time that they will not be running diesel power,” Southland said. “Swan Lake had dipped down to 296 feet and since they switched to diesel power they are now up to 298 feet.”

The water levels of Tyee are not of large concern at the moment but according to Southland, this will all depend on how wet the spring will be.

“”Tyee has been going down over the past two weeks approximately four feet per week,” Southland said. “This is fine right now, but if we have a dry spring it could affect the water levels.”

Nelson explained that he is comfortable with the water levels at this time.

“We do all need to bear in mind that we have gone into this fall with the levels down from the beginning due to an unusually dry October,” Nelson stated. “We normally get a deluge of rain and we got virtually none last year.”

Nelson also stated that the operational plan for this year will allow Tyee to draft at another 20 feet from what it was before.

“We had bottom at 1,280 feet and now it will be 1,260 feet,” he said. “And things got muddy around 2,080 last year.”

The silt and mud could cause a budgetary problem as well due to equipment malfunctions and gauges becoming clogged.

“Operationally we are fine,” Nelson stated. “It just depends on how low Tyee will get


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