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Local government news from the KUCB Newsroom.

Annie Ropeik/KUCB

Unalaska’s city dock is about to get a major makeover.

The City Council approved a $39 million renovation Tuesday night, authorizing top bidder Turnagain Marine Construction to replace two aging docks at the Unalaska Marine Center. 

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

About 50 years after it was founded, the Unalaska Department of Public Safety is undergoing its first independent review.

Public Safety has hired a private company called Russell Consulting to do the assessment. 

“Our goal is to help the Unalaska Department of Public Safety provide good services -- excellent and outstanding services -- to community members who live here and to guests who come in,” said Greg Russell, a retired police officer who opened the Soldotna-based firm 15 years ago.

Métoule via Flickr Creative Common

Over the next four years, Unalaskans will see their monthly utility bills grow by $18.86 on average. For island businesses, it’ll be an $837.52 jump.

The City Council unanimously approved the rate hikes at a lightning-fast meeting Tuesday night.

The cost of wastewater utilities will increase by 15 percent over four years, while the cost of solid waste grows by 13.5 percent over three years.

Métoule via Flickr Creative Common

Lately, the Unalaska City Council has slogged through a series of marathon meetings, filled with tough financial decisions, tie-breaker votes, and passionate public testimony.

Councilors finally broke through at a meeting Tuesday night.

They unanimously passed budget priorities for the next fiscal year and narrowed in on a new policy to soften the blow of upcoming rate hikes.

KUCB File Photo

After a nine-month nationwide search, Unalaska has finally hired a new fire chief.

D.J. Dunn will start next month, leading the island’s fire and emergency medical services.

“He’s exceptionally qualified for the position," said Mike Holman, director of the Department of Public Safety. "He has a bachelor’s degree in nursing, so he’s a paramedic and a nurse. He’s got significant fire experience as well as training.”

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