Borough Plans Well for Chiniak Community

Photo from a U.S. Coast Guard overflight of the Twin Creeks fire in 2015. Kelly Parker / USCG

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

When the Twin Creeks fire burned the Chiniak forest in 2015, it also took with it the Chiniak library.

The structure housed the community’s books, served as a meeting place for kids, and was also the local tsunami shelter.

In the period of recovery since then, borough staff and Chiniak residents have been plotting out what the new library and tsunami shelter will look like. Staff also has its eye on utilities for the shelter and other community buildings, like the school.

Borough Manager Michael Powers updated the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly at the assembly work session last week.

“We’ve been working on both design and finance of the shelter itself. That process is winding along. Related to that, but more related to the school, is the need for a new well in the community.”

He said the well will serve both the school and the shelter / library.

“One of the things that we’re looking at doing is pushing it up onto the borough property further away from the school and getting the upgradient of areas of contamination, and then we’re gonna be spec’ing out a full blown commercial well.”

Powers said once they draw out the plans, they’ll send it out to bid.

He said later in the summer they’ll also be clearing an evacuation path between the school and what will be the tsunami shelter / library.

Edit 7 / 19: A former version of this article incorrectly stated that the Chiniak school / tsunami shelter burned with fire. It was the library / Chiniak shelter.

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