State Looks to Move P/V Stimson from Unalaska to Kodiak
Wednesday, January 29 2014
Unalaska’s lobbyists will be gearing up for a fight to keep the state trooper patrol vessel Stimson homeported here.
At last night’s city council meeting, city manager Chris Hladick told councilors that state legislators want to relocate the Stimson to Kodiak. He said it would save the state about half a million dollars as part of governor’s proposed budget for next year.
But Hladick said it would be bad news for the Aleutians.
"We are going to be talking to our legislators about this issue and trying to get them to change their mind," he said. "Number one commercial fishing port in the nation and no enforcement vessel, to me, doesn’t sound like a really good idea whatsoever, and trying to do it from Kodiak, two and a half days steam from here in good weather, doesn’t seem like a great idea."
The Stimson currently patrols the Bering Sea fisheries and Western Alaska along with the P/V Woldstad, which is stationed in Kodiak.
All six councilors and Mayor Shirley Marquardt were present at the meeting last night. They made quick work of their regular agenda during the rest of the 40-minute meeting.
Councilors voted unanimously to award a $3.9 million dollar contract to a branch of Northern Mechanical Construction to finish the landfill expansion project. Northern Alaska Contractors, LLC, is now on tap to install two new cells at the landfill by this coming fall.
Council also agreed to accept funds from the state Coastal Impact Assistance Program to pay for sediment mitigation in Unalaska Lake and to plan a new fish weir in the Lower Iliuliuk River. The grant for the lake is about $626,000, while the grant for the river is about $351,000.
City councilor Dennis Robinson suggested that in looking at sources of silt clogging up the lake, the city should consider runoff from residential gravel roads in the valley.
"It’d be nice to get more of the neighborhoods that affect the lake and the creek paved," he said.
Chris Hladick said the grants will pay for a consultant to consider ideas like Robinson’s and draw up plans for the lake and the river. The grants are aimed at preserving salmon spawning grounds.
The council voted unanimously to reject all the bids for upgrades to the Unalaska City School’s public address system and master clock, and rewrite the request for proposals. Hladick says it wasn’t clear to potential contractors that they would be able to use existing wiring at the school, so some of the bids came in too high.
Council adopted a new ambulance fee structure after hearing no comments at a public hearing. The change will help pay a third party to do the billing for ambulance services in Unalaska. It means an increase in service fees, and a boost in revenue for Public Safety.
Council also approved several budget amendments for a second reading. They would set aside $4.75 million to pave roads this year, using leftover funds from old paving projects.
And they would increase the library budget to include an Online With Libraries grant that the state extended for 2014. New boilers for the library and the Museum of the Aleutians are also in the budget package.
Those amendments will all get a second reading when council meets next on February 11.