Local News

Sitka seeks state funding for hydroprojects

Sitka officials want more state money to help raise the Blue Lake Dam.

Hydropower expansion tops a list of about 30 projects targeted for legislative grants or other state funding. Sitka’s Assembly will take a first look at that list at its Tuesday, Sept. 24th, meeting.

Lawmakers have already contributed about $50 million toward the project. Officials hope for another $43 million. If approved, the state would fund about two thirds of the total costs.

Construction bids recently came in almost twice the $50 million estimate. The project will raise the dam and increase the amount of power generated year-round.

The next item on the legislative priority list would help retire debt on the Green Lake hydroproject. Officials are seeking $42 million. They say power rates could go up by more than half without state assistance.

The Green Lake Dam, pictured here in a file photo, is one of two hydroprojects operated by the City of Sitka.

Other projects on the list would:
• Help develop an alternative drinking-water source.
• Replace Sitka’s transient float.
• Expand shore facilities for cruise-ship passengers.
• Build a new playground. (Scroll down for the full list.)

Assembly members will also take up plans for affordable housing projects at the old city shops site.

They will also hear updates on the Kettleson Library expansion and Centennial Hall renovation projects.

The meeting begins at 6 Tuesday in Assembly Chambers. We’ll broadcast it live.

Sitka legislative capital projects requests:

  • Expansion to Maximum Capacity of the Blue Lake Hydroelectric Project.
  • Retire Green Lake Dam Hydroelectric Project Indebtedness
  • Sitka Alternate/Emergency Potable Water Supply
  • Sitka Transient Float Replacement
  • Sawmill Creek Road Bypass Degroff Street Pavement and Utility Replacement.
  • Commercial Passenger Visitor Facilities Improvements
  • Marine Service Center Bulkhead Reconstruction
  • Sawmill Cove Industrial Park Shoreline Stabilization and Waterfront Development
  • Sitka Multi-Purpose Track and Field Improvements
  • Sitka Swan Lake Recovery and Improvements
  • Sitka Alternate Heat Source System for Centennial Hall/Kettleson Library
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Effluent Heat Pump System
  • Jeff Davis Street Water and Sewer Improvements
  • Harbor System Capital Improvements Project
  • Whitcomb Heights Subdivision Utility Improvements
  • Sitka Community Playground
  • Cross Trail Multimodal Pathway Phase II
  • Sitka Scrapyard Metal Baler Recycling Upgrade
  • Tony Hrebar Shooting Range Improvements

Sitka requests for state funding for state facilities:

  • State DPS Public Safety Academy Driver Training Facility
  • Replace Failing Water Supply Line to Japonski Island
  • Japonski Island Infrastructure Upgrades
  • State-Owned Lake Street, Harbor Drive & Airport Terminal Loading Zone Upgrades
  • Compensation for State Services at Sitka Jail Facilities
  • Co-funding for City/State/Tribal Justice Center Planning Study
  • Equitable Alaska Marine Highway Service to Sitka
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