Borough manager's report
Borough Manager Steve Giesbrecht reported the following during the last Borough Assembly meeting:
New ordinances have been forwarded to the court for inclusion in the Courtview and TrACS systems. This will allow the court to recognize the revisions and ultimately allow for more efficient processing of citations.
Preparation for the annual FERC inspection of Blind Slough has begun and includes installation of a flange and plat over the low-level outlet to facilitate the FERC mandated operation of the outlet valve. The valve hasn’t been operated for decades and shows some signs of deterioration. Re-calibration of the pump-back station to insure accurate readings of the dam leakage is needed, as well as removal of vegetation from the dam face, penstock inspection and repair of two concrete supporting pedestals.
The Crane Dock bid was awarded to Western Marine and the Launch Ramp Float bid award went to Tamico Inc. Work will begin on both projects mid-September.
Homeland Security officials performed a surprise spot check of the harbor facilities on May 12. The borough passed without issue.
Borough staff shuttled Mitkof Middle School students back and forth to Kupreanof Island last week using a Homeland Security boat.
Medical health premiums will increase 10.2 percent for Petersburg Borough employees due to the borough’s claim experience.
The first “borough code” is scheduled for printing and should arrive within the next four to six weeks. Staff reduced the number of hard copies of the code from 20 to five. Only the clerk’s office, the vault, attorney’s office and courthouse will receive hardbound copies. All others will be encouraged to continue to access the electronic version of the code through the borough website.
Fourth of July planning is underway. The theme this year is “Land of the Free, Bounty of the Sea.” Organizers will hold activities on July 3,4 and 5.
The Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with the school to offer a special week of summer camp for the elementary kids who will be out of school a week early because of construction.
The draft construction documents for landscaping the new library are currently being reviewed. It is anticipated that the bid process– which includes rock work, fill and drainage– will begin in mid-July. Planting will take place after this work is complete, likely in 2015.
The library’s 2014 Summer Reading Challenge is officially underway. The borough received an overwhelming response from the community to support the program. Dozens of businesses, organizations, families and individuals have donated. There are 60 prizes up for grabs that are now on display in the library. Seven weeks of science-based programs are planned starting June 11.
The Petersburg Community Foundation awarded $750 to the library for the Amazing Rainforest Race. The race is a community-wide, all ages scavenger hunt that will run through the summer.
The Share-a-Vision Art Display Program has been launched. The program allows artists to display their work at the library. Applications are available at the library and on the borough’s website. Photographer Carey Case will be the first artist to display her work June 1– June 30.
Some remaining work on two piling replacements and cross bracing will be completed on the Rasmus Enge Memorial Bridge this summer. The work should require periodic bridge closures. The Public Works crew did a great job replacing the bridge deck and stringers ahead of schedule.
Public Works Department staff held a going away party for Tom Lutton last Friday in the motorpool. Lutton worked for the city/borough for 28 years.
Petersburg Indian Association completed some street sign maintenance for the borough this spring. Along with cleaning, brushing and straightening various street signs, they compiled a list of signs that need replacing so the borough can place an order and replace any faded or non-compliant signage throughout the community.
Pending final bid document fine-tuning by the Alaska Department of Transportation, the South Nordic Drive Project, including work on Pump Station No. 1 Force Main, will likely be advertised in June with construction likely to begin in late fall or spring 2015. The final paving work in South Nordic will not occur until 2015.
The recycling program is strong. Including residential and commercial, current customer numbers total 1,001. Public Works Director Karl Hagerman spoke about the program with elementary school students and teachers this spring. He will be meeting with harbor staff soon to discuss recycling in the harbor. The tour ships are participating in recycling efforts and the staff is working out the kinks in that operation.
Marvin Ronimous has arranged for the borough to host an Allison Transmission training course. The training will be beneficial to borough mechanics and to visiting mechanics from Ketchikan and Wrangell. Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department staff are providing their training room for use in the course.
Assistant Public Works Director Chris Cotta is working with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to clarify wood cutting regulations at the Green’s Campground. Recent irresponsible actions have started to degrade the site and damaged one of the concrete picnic tables. Cutting is only allowed by permit on state lands and the State Troopers will enforce the regulation.