Work is progressing on the renovation of Peterburg’s municipal building, police station and jail. Construction crews have been demolishing parts of the old borough offices and breaking up the concrete slab floor of the nearly 60-year-old building.

Borough manager Steve Giesbrecht told the borough assembly Monday that he hoped to learn more over the next couple of weeks about the condition of that foundation.

“Probably one of the key points in the project is making sure when they take that slab up that they’re not surprised by what’s underneath it,” Giesbrecht said. “That would be the biggest thing that would hurt our contingency was if they find stuff they’re not expecting. They did quite a bit of exploratory work and didn’t find anything that scared ‘em but it’s not the same as pulling the whole thing up and then seeing what happens so.”

The borough has budgeted over 700,000 dollars for unforeseen expenses or cost overruns. The two-year, 6.6 million dollar renovation of the municipal building and police station started up in May.
During the work, borough staff are working out of the Petersburg Indian Association building for the next year. The police department remains in its old location until the old offices are rebuilt into a new police station and jail.

In other local project news, the assembly approved a bid award for just over 47,000 dollars for materials to upgrade the trail to City Creek near Sandy Beach Park. The work is funded by a grant through the Secure Rural Schools Act. That federal payment, in addition to school operations and road projects, also funds recreation projects around national forest land. The Petersburg Indian Association is doing the trail work in partnership with the borough’s Parks and Recreation department. That’s also the case for an extension of the Hungry Point trail underway this year near the ballfields. Petersburg’s assembly Monday gave the green light to accept a grant from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to extend that walking path.

Assembly members also voted 5-2 to change their meeting start time to noon for the summer months through September. Mayor Mark Jensen and vice mayor Cindi Lagoudakis voted against that change.