The Sitka Assembly meets at 6 p.m. in Harrigan Centennial Hall. Raven News will broadcast the meeting live. (KCAW Photo)

When the Sitka Assembly meets tonight (12-11-18) they’ll consider authorizing city staff to design and construct a secondary water treatment plant. The project, which would cost around $18 Million, would provide a secondary water source in the event that the Blue Lake penstock is unavailable, due to maintenance or emergencies.

With an upcoming federal inspection of the penstock, and a recent increase in turbidity events that could lead to loss of Sitka’s water filtration waiver, city staff stressed the need to move ahead with the project at a special work session last Tuesday night (12-04-18). Water rates were increased in July in anticipation of funding the project, and further rate increases aren’t expected.

Consultant Steve Huebner will update the assembly on negotiations between the city and Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) over a potential sale of Sitka Community Hospital. Last Thursday (12-6-18) representatives from SEARCH and CBS began the negotiation process. The two teams plan to meet again on December 19th with plans to finalize the agreement in January.

On second reading, the assembly will consider amending the Sitka General Code to establish a permitting system for commercial boat work. They will also review, on first reading, appropriations to the 2019 budget allocating matching funds for Catholic Community Services to purchase a senior citizen van, as well as adding improvements to the City Hall customer service counter.

They will also consider, on first reading, a three year collective bargaining agreement with the Sitka Fire Fighters Union and International Association of Fire Fighters.

View a copy of the full agenda hereRaven News will join the meeting live in progress at 6 p.m. tonight, following Alaska News Nightly.