Though the last couple of winters have been as bereft of snow as this one has so far, the city of Kodiak still has need of a new plan for disposal of snow plowed from city streets. That’s because the old plan, dumping it in ocean, is no longer viable. City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski briefed the Kodiak City Council Thursday night.
“There was a citizen’s complaint to DEC, the state Environmental Conservation office, complaining that the city as we were removing snow from the streets, we had been dumping that snow into the channel in an effort to be expeditious in our snow removal in the main part of town,” she said. “However, we talked to DEC and came up with a plan. That plan is to build an engineered snow storage. We started on that conversation back in 2012. And these yards do require – they’re not just a big vacant lot – they require engineering and specialty drainage.”
Kniaziowski said the city received four bids, and the lowest was from Brechan for about $206,000. But, she said the site selected for the snow yard will result in slower snow removal.
“We’ll be removing snow from the city streets as we always have, driving through Aleutian Homes up to the water treatment area, where it will be stored, and then managed until it melts,” she said. “So it’s going to be slower and certainly not as effective and a little bit more expensive, but it’s absolutely necessary. And it’s our job to comply with DEC requirements, so we’re recommending that you authorize this bid award. And it did come in at a very reasonable rate.”
Councilman Charlie Davidson held this project up as an example of why local government can get expensive through no fault of its own.
“Instead of dumping it in the ocean, we have to now truck it to this site, which is going to increase our costs substantially with fuel and extra time doing it. And I just want to point out to the public, this is a prime example why sometime government doesn’t seem efficient,” he said. “I guess the reason the DEC is requiring this is because of some of the pollutants that are on the road system and so they don’t want that to go into the waterways.”
The contract award passed unanimously.