In a decisive move to enhance the city’s wastewater management, the Sitka Assembly, during its regular session on Tuesday night (March 12, 2024), sanctioned a significant appropriation of $1.7 million towards the construction of a new lift station at Thompsen Harbor.

This strategic financial allocation was drawn from the city’s “wastewater working capital,” with an optimistic outlook towards securing a supportive low-cost loan from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) within the year. The proposed lift station is essential for the efficient transportation of wastewater to the main treatment facility located on Japonski Island.

Ron Vinson, the Public Works Director, expressed confidence in securing the DEC loan, highlighting the department’s history of backing the city’s initiatives, including a prior loan of $1.3 million for the same endeavor. Vinson underscored the state’s commitment to the project’s completion, indicating a strong likelihood of additional financial support.

The project’s budget is capped at $2.8 million, ensuring a comprehensive overhaul of the harbor’s wastewater infrastructure without exceeding fiscal limits. The assembly’s unanimous approval of the funding not only underscores the city’s commitment to environmental stewardship and public health but also marks a swift advancement in the evening’s agenda, concluding the public portion of the meeting in a mere 20 minutes.

Subsequently, the assembly convened behind closed doors to deliberate on matters related to employee benefits, further demonstrating their dedication to addressing a wide range of civic responsibilities.

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