Petersburg’s borough assembly will wait on making a decision about taking over three remote docks from the state.
The assembly Monday voted to table the acceptance of state-owned docks at Papke’s Landing, Kupreanof and Entrance Island in Hobart Bay. Petersburg mayor Mark Jensen, assembly members Cindi Lagoudakis and Bob Lynn and Kupreanof city councilor Dave Beebe met with the Alaska Department of Transportation in Juneau this month about taking over ownership of those facilities.
Jensen on Monday updated the Petersburg assembly about that conversation. “Part of the discussion with Mr. Lukshin from the state was if don’t accept this offer and you keep ‘em what happens,” Jensen said. “He said, well if they get in too much disrepair, we’ll take em out. So, do we want to take em and if they get in disrepair be the bad guys or have the state be the bad guys? I think two of these facilities would be very important to keep em in place but how do we afford to do it?” Jensen said he was referring to the Papke’s and Kupreanof docks.
In a February 18 letter, state ports and harbor engineer Michael Lukshin said the state would offer to pay Petersburg over 732-thousand dollars to take over the three docks. Consultants hired by Petersburg last year found that the floats at the Papke’s and Kupreanof docks both needed to be replaced and would cost closer to 2.5 million dollars to replace.
Assembly member Nancy Strand wanted a better offer from the state. “I think where we stand is it’s not enough money,” said Strand. “So I think we should just say no and see if they come back with another offer. And people who want to maintain the float need to contact the state for maintenance.”
The assembly had other questions about whether tidelands ownership and wetlands permits would transfer as well. Others wondered about just asking for two of the three docks. Harbor board chair Mike Bangs thought the assembly should wait on making a decision and let that board consider the transfer.
The city of Kupreanof has also expressed interest in taking over the dock in that community. In a February 11 letter, DOT commissioner Marc Luiken responded by saying the DOT would pursue the transfer with the Petersburg borough but hoped that the city of Kupreanof and the borough would work together once the facility is transferred.
“The city of Kupreanof is looking forward to the possibility of entering into a memorandum of understanding with the borough and the state as it relates to figuring out how to fund the repairs to the dock and the deferred maintenance that is badly in need of being caught up with,” said Kupreanof councilor Dave Beebe.
The vote was 6-0 to table the discussion until the Petersburg borough has more information about the transfer.