Local News

Call for conservation at Assembly meeting

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SITKA, ALASKA
“Since November of last year we’re down 20 percent in total water back into the lake,” he said. “So we’re still in pretty serious circumstances relative to water usage.”

Blue Lake is 57 feet below its spillover level, and Green Lake is 78 feet below spill level. Both lakes also are below what’s called the “rule curve,” which is a measurement of whether the lakes are on pace to completely recharge by the fall.

Brewton says Sitkans should focus more on conserving electricity rather than water.

“If you want to conserve water, turn off your hot water heater,” Brewton said. “It takes 250 gallons of water through the turbine to heat 1 gallon of water in your electric hot water heater. So if you run a load of laundry and it takes 10 gallons of water, by simply switching from hot to cold you’re going to save 2,500 gallons of water every time you do a load of laundry. If you want to conserve, turn off your hot water when you’re doing laundry, turn off your thermostat on your hot water heaters, and let’s try to get through this.”

Sitka has found itself strapped for power as demand has grown faster than the city’s ability to generate electricity. Projects to increase that capacity, which include raising the Blue Lake dam, are still a few years away from completion. As a result, the city has burned costly diesel fuel to help generate extra power.

In other Assembly business…
The city of Sitka is hoping to replace one of its harbors, and it will look to the state to supply half the money. ANB Harbor is 55 years old, but has undergone renovations in its lifetime. The city estimates it could cost $8.5 million dollars to replace the whole thing.

At its regular meeting last night, the Sitka Assembly agreed to apply for a state grant for harbors. If the application is accepted, the state would grant Sitka $4.25 million. The city would have to pay for the other half of the project.

Sitka previously applied for the money in 2010 and 2011, but was denied.

The Assembly’s regular meeting Tuesday night was unusually short, adjourning in just 45 minutes. During that time the Assembly also approved a $9.3 million contract to McGraw Custom Construction for work on Blatchley Middle School. Voters approved the work – and the bonds to pay for it – in the 2010 municipal elections
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