At Thursday’s Kodiak City Council meeting, city manager Aimee Kniaziowski gave brief updates on various maintenance and construction projects around town. Some are coming along quicker than scheduled, such as the latest phase of water and sewer upgrades in Aleutian Homes.
“The curb and gutter is complete. Multiple retaining walls are under construction, the D-1, sidewalks and street pavements are schedule to start in two weeks, and traffic will be limited to local access only. And we expect the contractor, Brechan, to be done by the end of this month, which is way early. We really appreciate it; the project’s gone very well.”)
She said Ohno Construction is doing some repairs to the Baranof Park football field around the mascot logo in the center of the field, and has extending the warranty on work done on the baseball field:
“Last spring and winter we had a problem with standing water on that field. They’ve agreed to extend the warranty and give it another year. What we think that happened was the ground was frozen underneath, not allowing the water to drain through. And we haven’t seen that back up. They want to observe it some more before they start tearing up that turf.”
Kniaziowski noted the asphalt milling and repaving going on along Mill Bay Road. Work at the intersection of Birch has already been done.
“They’re working on three other segments that in are chronic drainage areas, problem areas. Benny Benson, Bancroft, and kind of right in front of King Fisher Air. So hopefully, they’ll mill that, replace it and increase the crown of the road, and hopefully we can nurse that along a little bit and make that road hold together for a longer time.”
Mill Bay Road was completely resurfaced about five years ago, but ruts and potholes developed over the last few years.
Down on the waterfront, Kniaziowski said Harbormaster Lon White is working with the state to facilitate the Pier 1 replacement project:
“They’re going to be starting on that here this month. Pacific Pile and Marine is the contractor, and they’ll begin pulling down the old Pier 1, which is an old timber-pile dock, and replacing it. The ferry and the state, they’re looking for options for ferry office space and a construction office. Initially we thought maybe they would come to Pier 2, but it looks like they’re looking around. They’re going to try some other things.”
She also informed the council that a Parks and Recreation department crew has been trying to clean up around the Mall, and tended to the trees and flower beds there as well.
It’s been almost a year since the topic of composting biosolids has made it to a Kodiak City Council agenda, but work has been well underway to make it a reality. The design for the new composting facility is at 95 percent, and City Manager Aimee Kniaziowksi said they are getting ready to submit the design to the the Alaska Department of Enviornmental Conservation for permitting.
“That’s the next step and once we’re issued a permit then we can begin the process of building this facility and migrating over. We’re currently doing compost class B on the borough landfill at the top of the current landfill pile, so we’ll migrate that to the new facility once it’s been designed and ready.”
The goal is to eventually produce a higher quality class A compost at the new facility.
Mark Kozak is the public works director for the city and said a meeting was held with folks from the Monashka Bay community about a year ago to talk about preliminary plans for the composting facility.
“Because they’re the nearest neighbor to this potential site. We took their public input and then we started the design. And now we’re at the point where the design is ready to be submitted to DEC to start the permit process. And what we want to do is visit with the public again, let them see the design and ask their questions, so that they know when we submit our permit, what the facility is like, how the process is managed and handled and then we can hear and get feedback from them now if there’s anything they have concerns about.” Continue reading
On today’s edition of Talk of the Rock we’ll hear an interview with Kodiak City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski, Public Works Director Mark Kozak and City Engineer Glenn Melvin about the proposed composting facility at the landfill. The class A composting facility is 95 percent designed and city staff are seeking public input before they submit the plans to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
There will be a public meeting about composting and plans for the new facility on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Bayside Fire Hall. The gathering will include a panel question and answer session with three composting experts from CH2M Hill, the company designing the composting facility, and a representative from the DEC.
Kniaziowski said city staff will present the current design for the project, including maps and pictures, and detail how it will operate and the ultimate goal for class A composting in Kodiak.
At last night’s Kodiak City Council meeting, an ordinance approving the hire of an assistant city manager was moved forward. Aimee Kniaziowski explained why she needs help in the city manager’s office.
“I certainly support this. We’re certainly a large enough community as I mentioned on Tuesday. What this will allow is more work to be done and I can move from daily triage to actually getting some of these key things done,” she said.
She said the new position would be assigned to perform human resources and risk management duties, as well as oversee other projects for the city.
The motion, which would change city code to create the position of assistant manager, passed on a 4-to-0 vote, with Councilmen Gabe Saravia and Randy Bishop absent.
The pay range for an assistant city manager would fall between about $87,000 and $131,000. Earlier in the meeting citizen Betty MacTavish said creating another high-level position within the city is not a wise move fiscally.
“That definitely would not reduce costs of running the city, but increase them,” she said. “We have businesses closing all the time in our city. I just looked online and there’s 45 homes for sale. This does not look like an active, vibrant city to me. So we need to be really good stewards of the citizens’ money.”
The ordinance will next come back before the council for a public hearing and a final vote at the next regular meeting, scheduled for August 28th.
It was one of the Kodiak City Council’s quicker meetings of the year last night. Council members breezed through the agenda, which included a resolution to change the city’s per diem payment policy. City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski said the current per diem rate of $45 a day to anyone traveling on city business is an outdated amount.
“It’s been that rate for many years and it certainly costs more to buy meals when we’re traveling and so forth.”
Kniaziowski said the resolution before the council last night would replace that rate with the federal per diem rate.
“And when we know when you’re ready to travel or a city employee is ready to travel we go to the federal website and find out what the rate is for that city at that time of the year and then use that rate, which is surely much more than $45 a day.”
That resolution passed unanimously, as did a resolution that adds a language to the city’s funding criteria for non-profit grants.
“That will allow those non-profits that may have a special one time only need for a project to be funded, they can describe its need, what it’s supposed to accomplish, when they expect to complete it and the timeline and target dates and so forth.”
The council also approved a handful of public property use permits to various organizations around town for fundraisers that are set to take place in the coming months.
The council’s next regular meeting is on April 24 at 7:30 p.m.
The city of Kodiak has a new librarian. Kathleen Baxter has been offered the job that became vacant after long-time librarian Joe D’Elia retired this summer.
In a release, City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski said Baxter was chosen from a field of eight applicants. No specific details about Baxter’s experience or background, or where she’s from was included in the statement from city hall, but it did say she had over 30 years of experience in public, private and academic libraries.
Baxter is quoted as saying she’s looking forward to serving the Kodiak community, and she will arrive in mid October.