Just before it gaveled out on Friday, five days late, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill of particular importance to Sitka: Senate Bill 99, which includes language authorizing the city to apply for a low-cost state loan to complete the Blue Lake dam hydroelectric project.
Sitka’s last chance to avoid another electric rate hike is in the hands of the Alaska House of Representatives this weekend. The city wants access to a low-cost loan to finance the final portion of the Blue Lake hydroelectric project. But first it needs the approval of the state legislature.
Sitka’s Blue Lake Dam hydro expansion project will cost about $3.6-million more than expected. The total project — not including new backup diesel generators — was originally estimated to cost about $142-million. It is now up to about $145-million, Utility Director Chris Brewton told the Sitka assembly Tuesday night. Brewton later told KCAW that this is the only major cost overrun the project has seen so far.