Sitka’s Assembly has OK’d plans to divert unused road repair funds to rebuild Edgecumbe Drive.
Seven recent street projects were completed without using all their allocations. One more was put off, because funding was inadequate.
The assembly approved the $360,000 transfer this week. But some members had questions. Here’s Mike Reif.
“In essence, we’re taking all the eggs out of that basket, which was a basket just getting some eggs into it,” Reif said. “Convince me that this was the best approach to take, even though I know probably some other needs are going to come up that will be pretty worthwhile, or an emergency.”
City officials said Edgecumbe is their top priority.
Municipal Engineer Stephen Weatherman said pavement is coming apart at one end. And storm drains are about ready to collapse.
“Edgecumbe Drive happens to be the primary collector (street) that the city and borough is responsible for. It provides a tremendous amount of connection for all the subdivisions that are up in that area. And it’s beginning to come apart,” Weatherman said.
He said a number of other roads need repair, so the focus has to be on those getting the most use.
The assembly approved the transfer on a 5-to-2 vote.
The panel also OK’d moving a bus stop from the Crescent Harbor lot to Harbor Drive. That was proposed to free up space for parking near Harrigan Centennial Hall.
Shirley Robards told the assembly the plan would take away spaces used by customers of her business, Stereo North, at the corner of Harbor and Lincoln
“All of my customers come from Sawmill Creek and from Halibut Point Road. They don’t come from downtown. So I feel it will hurt us,” Robards said.
City officials said they considered nearby locations for The Ride stop.
Police Chief Sheldon Schmitt said Harbor Drive was the best.
“Of all these sites that we looked at, none of them were perfect. We had traffic concerns – serious traffic concerns – with several of them and they were eliminated. … I know it’s not perfect for Stereo North. But this was considered the best option, the safest,” Schmitt said.
The assembly also approved a $3.6 million contract for completion of the ANB Harbor rebuild. Pacific Pile and Marine was the lowest qualified bidder.
The contract amount was slightly below the engineer’s estimate. Two other companies submitted higher bids.
In other business, assembly member Matthew Hunter was named deputy mayor. Phyllis Hackett was chosen to be assistant deputy mayor.