Council to Voice Support for Keeping P/V Stimson in Unalaska
Tuesday, February 25 2014
City Council is set to ask the state to tear down the derelict torpedo building and allow the trooper vessel Stimson to stay in Unalaska at their meeting tonight.
The first resolution up for a vote shows support for keeping the Stimson homeported here. The state is considering moving the patrol vessel to Kodiak, where it would still enforce fisheries in Western Alaska.
Councilors and other local leaders have said they think the Stimson belongs here, since Unalaska is home to the nation’s top commercial fishing port. They’re worried it poses a risk to Bering Sea fisheries if the vessel is too far away.
The second resolution asks the state Department of Transportation to remove the WWII-era torpedo building next to the airport. Council has made the request before, but it’s never come to pass.
The resolution says “the current practice of demolition by neglect [at the torpedo building] has created a threat to life, health, and public safety.” A windstorm earlier this month sent large pieces of lumber flying off the structure, damaging several cars at the airport long-term parking lot. The city has kept the lot closed since then while it waits for action from the DOT.
Also tonight, council will finalize a budget amendment to increase funds for the waste-heat recovery project at the powerhouse. The amendment also includes money for a new PCR van. And it incorporates a grant to pay for new jail cell locks at the Department of Public Safety.
There will be annual reports tonight from the PCR and Library Advisory Committees and the Planning Commission.
Council will also hear the results of a study on the city’s electric rates. The study says that thanks to an increase in industrial electricity sales, the rates are stable for now. But it says Unalaska will start to lose money in fiscal year 2016 without another sales boost.
Council will go over the city’s fiscal year 2015 fiscal goals tonight. The goals focus on housing development, and how utilities and other infrastructure might change in town if oil development continues in the future. City Manager Chris Hladick says in his memo to the council that Shell Oil’s decision not to return to the Arctic this summer represents a “reprieve” to give the city more time to plan.
The council meeting is tonight at 7 p.m., its regular time, at City Hall.