Tag Archives: jay sweeney

How the Blue Lake Dam is costing Sitka

“One of the dangers there, as oil prices continue to go up, is that people will start to shift over to electricity, and all that additional capacity that you’ve gained by raising the dam will just go into existing inefficient buildings, or into new inefficient buildings," says Jon Heller. (Blue Lake Expansion photo/Desiree Brandis)The city of Sitka is struggling to pay off the Blue Lake Dam in a big way. The project was largely funded through bond proceeds. But due to a major decline in electric usage by Sitka customers, the city doesn’t have enough money to meet the bond payment.

Sitka transitions cruise ship dock to ‘super-yacht facility’

The 165' motor yacht Rebel at the O'Connell Bridge Lightering Dock. Passengers from the cruise ship Silver Shado will lighter this weekend (Sat 7-2-16) to Crescent Harbor, so that super-yachts like the Rebel can moor here. With more ships landing at the privately-owned Old Sitka Dock, the city will transition this site to "a super-yacht facility," said administrator Mark Gorman. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)The Sitka Assembly approved an application for state funding to extend the Seawalk to the O'Connell Bridge, even though that site will become a "super-yacht facility."

Assembly explores utility assistance program

10157436313_ea1c09dec4_zThe centerpiece of Tuesday night's (5-24-16) Assembly meeting was the cost of living in Sitka. Specifically, how some Sitkans are struggling to pay their utility bills and whether the city should provide assistance. Two Assembly members propose a subsidization program.

Task force and city come to terms over budget deficit

6798839928_3f2c90297a_zAt the Citizens' Task Force meeting on Monday (02-29-16), the sobering uncertainties of the FY17 budget dominated the conversation. And it was there that the task force began to push back against city staff on what Sitka’s financial strategy should be.

City hopes to rewrite Sitka’s debt collection rules

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At the request of City Staff, the Assembly wants to revamp Sitka’s credit and debt collection policies (Photo by Brennan Clark)

On Tuesday night (02-23-16), the the Assembly waded into a discussion about Sitka’s credit and collection policies, or lack … more

City questions rules for utility billing

IMG_3678During last night’s (02-09-16) meeting, the Sitka Assembly was notified of a snowballing issue in the city finance department: utility bills. Specifically, power disconnections when bills are past due.

Citizens’ Task Force searches for answers, consensus

The expanded Sitka Public Library will open on February 1. Critics of government spending continue to point to major capital projects such as the library and the Performing Arts Center as being beyond Sitka's means to maintain. (KCAW photo/Bill Foster)Sitka is looking to its residents for answers about how to best raise revenues and decrease spending. With their first report duein 3 weeks, the Citizens’ Task Force has some way to go before reaching consensus.

Citizens’ Task Force balances revenues, spending, growth

Citizens' Task Force chair Rob Allen, and Sitka chief administrative officer Jay Sweeney, outline the role of the CTF, and put the group's challenges into context. They describe Sitka as one of the most comprehensively-governed communities in Alaska. Downloadable audio.

Without new transformer, massive blackout on horizon

IMG_5074Deferred maintenance, particularly at the Marine Street Substation, has prompted the department the city to fast track a solution. Electric Department Director Bryan Bertacchi has a plan, but it will take the money and the political will of the Assembly to pull it off.

Reduced summer ferry schedule concerns Assembly

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 9.08.37 PMBeyond wrapping up the municipal election, the Assembly’s meeting on Tuesday (10-13-15) night was light on local business. There was however, plenty to discuss about the state - from reduced ferry service to funding prospects.