The Alaska Army National Guard is transferring armories in rural communities to various different organizations including municipalities around the state. Here in Petersburg, the armory on Haugen Drive was transferred to the Division of Public Safety in May of this year.
That state agency plans to use it for an office for the wildlife trooper, currently stationed in the state office building on Sing Lee Alley.
Colonel Steve Hall is with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and said there are positives and negatives with the move.
“There are certainly positive aspects of being in the same office building with Department of Fish and Game for our staff because a lot of the people that come in to visit the Alaska Wildlife Trooper are also there to visit Department of Fish and Game and ask questions or get permits, things like that,” Hall said. “So you know there’s some negative to being separated but in this instance the ability to have better storage for our equipment, more secure storage is a really big positive as well as owning the facility and not having to pay rent.”
One wildlife trooper in the Petersburg and Kake area enforces fish and game law and is a first responder in criminal cases and searches. The state rents his office in the Sing Lee Alley building along with other agencies’ offices. The move will take place in the next couple months depending on work that might be needed to convert the armory into the trooper’s office.
The Department of Transportation owns the land. It’s located on Haugen Drive between the post office and the airport. It was built in 2000 and 2001 for over half a million dollars. It was used for classroom space and vehicle storage.
The Alaska Army National Guard is handing off around 60 armories in rural communities. The Guard has already transferred other facilities in Haines, Hoonah, Angoon, Kake and Wrangell to various different organizations in those communities. The plan is to retain other armories in Juneau, Sitka, Klawock and Ketchikan.