The Blue Lake Reservoir provides hydroelectric power and drinking water to Sitka County. On Thursday night (08-30-18, the Sitka Assembly approved pursuing an $18 million state loan to build a secondary water source. (KCAW Photo)

After a Tuesday meeting devoted entirely to Sitka Community Hospital, the Sitka Assembly tackled other business at their special meeting last night (08-30-18).

In new business, the Assembly approved – on first and final reading – applying for a state loan of up to $18 million dollars for a secondary water supply. Earlier this summer, they also approved raising water rates to pay for the project. The vote was 5-2, with Richard Wein and Aaron Bean voting against. The Assembly also passed a motion saying the project must get the future Assembly’s approval before moving forward.

They gave Brady the go-ahead to pursue building a new seaplane base as a top priority project. The current facility is over 50 years old and deteriorating. The city wants to see a new one built on Japonski Island.

At the top of their agenda was the art gallery on the second floor of City Hall. Administrator Keith Brady drafted a policy to guide what kind of art can hang in this highly-visited space. The gallery was dedicated to the late building official William Stortz in 2016. The Assembly took public testimony on this issue two weeks ago and deliberated further last night.

In the end, the Assembly chose not to enforce a policy for art display. Moving forward, the Assembly has given themselves the power to decide the gallery’s curator and have asked Brady to hang signage indicating the gallery is not managed by the city.

On second and final reading, the Assembly also eliminated an incentive credit for electric vehicles and exempted the Sitka History Museum from paying property taxes for the first two years of operation.

At the end of the meeting, the entered executive session to discuss a lawsuit facing the Sitka Police Department. After reconvening, they approved pursuing an appropriation of $10,000 to resolve a legal personnel matter and pursuing an appropriation of $100,000 for a legal defense.