Local News

Petersburg water main leak found in the muskeg

Petersburg came close to running out of treated drinking water last week, thanks to a water main leak in the muskeg behind the airport.

Borough manager Steve Giesbrecht told the assembly Monday that the water line began leaking treated water around noon on July 8th. It was a leak that was difficult for assistant public works director Chris Cotta and borough water department employees to locate.

“It was a mainline rupture out in the muskeg, which is an interesting experience to try and find leaking water in an area that always has water in it,” Giesbrecht said. “(The) water tank dropped pretty significantly, they finally found the leak around 9 p.m. just as Chris was getting ready to start tellin’ everybody turn off your faucets. And they found it and were able to isolate it, get it repaired. No customers lost service.”

Geisbrecht praised the work of borough staff to track down the leak.

In other news, the borough assembly agreed to draft comments on the Kake Access project, a federal study of possible road and ferry connections for Petersburg’s neighboring community. The federal highway administration is planning two input sessions later this month, one in Petersburg and one in Kake, to hear comments on a draft purpose and need statement for the project.

Assembly member Cindy Lagoudakis thought the borough should ask federal highways to narrow the scope of what will be considered in the environmental study for the project. “Some of my concern about this when you look at it is, that the purpose and need statement addresses the fact that there is more transportation available in the summertime, in fact there’s daily transportation to regional hubs available in the summertime,” she said, adding, “When I look at this project logically, there is no way that those roads are going to be maintained in the wintertime to provide the other access that this document says it’s going to address.”

Lagoudakis and other assembly members will draft comments on the project. Public input on the draft purpose and need statement will be accepted through August 5th and federal highways plans a listening session in Petersburg July 24th from 4-6 p.m. at the Forest Service’s conference room.

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