Borough officials didn’t put a time frame on the work but expect repairs for Petersburg’s pool boiler to take some time.
Borough manager Steve Giesbrecht provided a short update to the borough assembly Tuesday night and fielded questions from the assembly. The pool is shut down after the main breaker box and control panel to the pool boilers overheated and were destroyed Friday evening.
Giesbrecht said it’s possible the electrical system will have to be redesigned before a company can be hired to rebuild it. Giesbrecht has consulted with commercial electricians and was scheduled to meet with the borough’s insurance company Wednesday.
“If it goes that direction, it’ll be treated like a project, where an engineer comes in, designs it, draws up plans and that’s bid out and we’ll get somebody in here to actually do the work,” the manager explained. “As I mentioned earlier some of this stuff is not special order but it’s stuff that they don’t just have on the shelf. The statement made was that this has to be actually built. And as we’ve seen in many, many areas, with COVID production on equipment… is very sporadic, in some cases you have to wait a long time just to get what you need just to get things up and operational. Not good news but we’ll know more every day that goes past.”
Giesbrecht said the borough would need to follow through with its insurance provider to cover the cost of the repairs, which he expected could be expensive.
Assembly member Jeff Meucci hoped to find ways to speed up the process.
“As you know there’s lots of concern within the community about, you know everybody was pretty excited to have the pool open here for a couple of weeks or months and now this,” Meucci told Giesbrecht. “So people are pretty bummed out about this whole thing and I think, I know we can’t move forward as fast as some people would like us to but if there’s electrical engineers in Juneau who have the expertise to look at this and kind of help us move along, I don’t know what you’re thinking but I know we’re all concerned about it.”
That fire caused an electrical brown out in Petersburg and registered on the regional power grid.
Assembly member Bob Lynn is chair of the board of the Southeast Alaska Power Agency. He wanted to make sure the work for rewiring the large electric demand at the pool is done correctly.
“I had a chance to go back and look at what the whole SEAPA grid did from that event and it did affect the grid all the way to Ketchikan,” Lynn said. “And luckily everything worked as it was supposed to on that end. We had a little bit, little bit of a brown out here but it still worked. But if we’re going to put this back together I think we need to do it in the best way we possibly can and if it takes longer, I’m sorry it’s going to take longer.”
Petersburg’s pool was built in 2006. It’s had multiple extended closures in the past year, from the pandemic this spring and following damage from a spell of cold weather last winter.