February 14, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 7

PIA Board sets Transportation Improvement Program

A Transportation Improvement Program, TIP, has been established for the next five years by the Petersburg Indian Association Board during its regular meeting.

PIA Tribal Transportation Director Will Ware submitted a written report for the board outlining the program, a Long Range Transportation Plan, LRTP, and projects that are ongoing for PIA.

Over the next five years, the PIA Transportation Department will spend $1,630,000 on maintenance for a 50 mile range area; $25,600 will be spent on the maintenance shed; $1,355,000 will go toward administration costs and $712,695 will be spent on the North Nordic Drive sidewalk reconstruction.

“The LRTP is a continuous update that is necessary to our TIP,” Ware reported. “For example, as we have plans for new construction at our Greens Camp location, we must have it included in our LRTP so that we can generate a TIP and expend construction dollars on anything beyond maintenance, such as pavilions, outhouses and other extra structures.”

Ware also reported regarding ongoing projects.

“Other than finishing up North Nordic Drive sidewalks, we will be primarily focusing our attention to our maintenance program,” Ware reported. “As of fiscal year 2013, we are allowed to expend up to $500,000 of our annual funding on maintenance, which is good news for us as PIA has a large maintenance program.”

According to Ware, the contracts with the Bureau of Indian Affairs has been expended and PIA is limited to its annual funding agreement and what is in the Roads savings. This is a direct reflection in the cut in spending from previous years.

PIA Board adopted resolution 2013-4 approving the PIA Tribal Transportation Program 2013-2017 Transportation Improvement Program unanimously.

A written report regarding the Seaside Restaurant was also submitted for the board by the restaurant manager Jason Wilson.

“For the first time since I arrived here, the Seaside is making a profit,” Wilson reported. “Even on our worst day, we still made enough to cover the labor and product.”

The hours for the restaurant have been changed to breakfast and lunch only for the time being but Wilson is looking forward to the summer.

“It's nice to know that we will be able to support ourselves through the next couple of months,” Wilson also reported. “I am working with the cooks to create a superb Valentines dinner as something special.”

PIA Board Member Mike Sheldon stated that he can see keeping the restaurant open as long as the numbers are supporting that it is sustaining itself, but if they aren't then he suggested closing it altogether until May.

“I will have a complete report ready for the next board meeting March 4,” PIA Tribal Administrator Bruce Jones said. “The board will have the information needed to make an intelligent decision at that time.”

In another portion of the agenda, the board spoke with Jessica Iremia the Cultural and Education Coordinator of the Petersburg Public Library regarding digitizing records for PIA.

Currently, Iremia is working on the applications for the grant Many Voices, One Community.

“This grant is over halfway done,” Iremia stated. “We have been preparing for the next grant that will pick up where this one leaves off this September.”

“This grant focuses on three major areas,” Iremia said. “One is to develop and launch a digital archive for the public to access. We would like to put photographs, video and audio information on there and this would allow anyone access to local tribal information.”

She also explained that the second area of focus would be cultural programming.

“We would like our focus to be sharing cultural knowledge and the cultural experience,” Iremia said. “The third area is a rediscovering of Tlingit heritage and roots here in this area.”

Resolution 2013-5, supporting the application to the Institute for Museum and Library Services Enhancement Grant Program for the Rekindling our Heritage, Awakening our Future project was approved unanimously by the board.

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