Petersburg Pilot -


Borough manager's report


During the June 16 Petersburg Borough Assembly, meeting Borough Manager Steve Giesbrecht gave the following report:

Transient boaters are excited about the new harbor facility. About half are having issues with the electric meters and the boaters are requesting WiFi hookup.

The recycling program is set up with individual vessels through the Harbor Office. Staff members hand out the blue bags and participants are required to return the filled bags back at the office for Wednesday pickup. Borough staff will monitor the program throughout the summer and expand if needed.

The harbor’s public shower is out of order. Major plumbing issues, as a result of age and constant use, have staff working with a local plumber to replace the hard to find industrial fittings. Staff hope the facility will be up and running in the next couple of weeks.

PFI has asked to use the borough’s spare transformer through this season. Power and Light put the transformer in service when PFI’s failed last spring. The borough will let PFI use the transformer. The new replacement unit is here and will be installed this fall.

The community gym will be closed July 11 through July 20 for its annual gym floor recoat.

Property tax invoices will go out no later than July 1.

Staff is writing up budget policies to help aid in creating future budgets along with the consideration of using a biennial budget process next year. Staff would start the budget process about a month earlier to allow the assembly and the public more time to ask questions and be involved in the process.

There has been discussion regarding the possibility of lowering the mill rate for certain properties in the Frederick Point East subdivision and vicinity. This process must start with the property owners as outlined in the Borough Charter. Concerned parties can speak to the clerk or the borough manager for assistance on how the charter handles this type of action.

EMS Director Sandy Dixson met with Steve Berry and John Murgas regarding Berry’s lease at Scow Bay and concerns about the proximity of his boundary and that of the Fire Department training facilities. They will work through the details.

Jim Birch and other harbor staff trained with EMS volunteers with the harbor security boat in preparation for off island calls.

Police Chief Kelly Swihart and Investigator Kalin Rosse participated in the Coast Guard’s Alaska Marine Security Committee Counterdrug teleconference on May 29. The teleconference focused on collaborative efforts between local, state and federal agencies.

The records management company Spillman visited June 10 through June 11 to demonstrate software for dispatch, police, fire, EMS and jail records management.

Officer Popp facilitated a bicycle rodeo for second and third graders from the elementary school. Safety and maintenance were covered and a road course was included.

Captain Hamilton, Sergeant Kerr and Officer King participated in marine marksmanship training in Wrangell and also did some familiarization training with the security boat.

Juvenile Justice authorities inspected our facility the first week of June. No procedural deficiencies were noted. They are looking forward to our new facility.

Congratulations to Ron Ware who will succeed Tom Lutton as foreman of the street crew. He and the crew will have their hands full with a long list of projects including lowering the handrails on Birch Street bridge, installing a culvert on Unimak Street, completing the remainder of Rasmus Enge Bridge work, decommissioning the old Pump Station 5 site and completing some known water and sewer system repairs. In addition they still need to keep the normal grading and dust control efforts underway.

Overall recycling rate for baled waste versus recyclables is at 24 percent.

Rock N Road has been working on the Landfill Slope Stabilization project and is making good progress. At this time they have shaped the landfill slopes and hydroseeded them. Also, rock has been hauled to the site to build our scrap metal work pad.

The annual Household Hazardous Waste event held May 31 and June 1 was a success. More than 41 drums and six large cartons of hazardous waste were removed from the community.

The new grader has been ordered and is estimated to arrive in July. The grader cost $262,000. Due to a new control system on the grader, a simulator will be delivered to Petersburg in late June so that our operators can be trained on the new controls prior to the grader arriving.


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