City Council approves additional funds for Baranof Park and upgrades to waste water and water treatment plant system

Kodiak’s City Council unanimously approved all its resolutions at a regular meeting Thursday night, January 11th. Those included changes for the Baranof Park Improvements project, and an upgraded system connecting Kodiak’s wastewater and water treatment plants, among other business items.

The city committed to paying $4,962,000.00 for the Baranof Park Recreation Center project back in 2022; and as of this week, the construction is just over 90% complete. But City Manager Mike Tvenge said the contractor requires an additional $132,626.38 to finish overhauling Baranof Park.

“The siding and the roofing installation, the electric and plumber rough-ins, our sprinkler system, our fire alarm system and the ventilation are all complete,” Tvenge explained. “And as of [Wednesday], the contractor is just finishing up those offices, on the north side of the building, including the locker rooms and our bathrooms.”

Based on a report from the city manager, the work with Kodiak-based Friend Contractors was originally going to be completed by the end of October last year, then it was pushed back to late December. Now it’s listed as mid-February. The Department of Parks and Recreation is slated to take over operation of the ice rink, contained within the Baranof Park facility “on or about February 15th.”

In other business Thursday night, the Council authorized $90,000 worth of upgrades to the Waste Water Treatment Plant Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, also known as SCADA.
The upgrades will create a more secure network, establish a separate fiber communication link between the Pillar Mountain Water Treatment Plant and Waste Water Treatment Plant at Spruce Cape, as well as set up redundant servers in two locations.

City Manager Tvenge said upgrading SCADA will make it easier to monitor water flow and potential breaks through the whole system of lift stations and water treatment plants [WTP].
Councilmember Richard Walker said it will also benefit workers at the facilities.

“It’s also good for safety for our guys working out in the field,” Walker said. “The SCADA systems will let us know what is going on. Whereas in the old days, they didn’t have anything telling them what was going on, so they had to go crawling 60 to 90 feet down inside of a wet well,” he recounted.

Alaska Communications will conduct the work to upgrade the SCADA system, which includes building the fiber optic cable link, trenching and backfill along with pavement removal and replacement at two separate locations in town. One is from the wastewater treatment plant to the intersection of Rezanof Drive and Cutoff Road; the other is at the intersection of Pillar Mountain Road and Maple Avenue to the water treatment plant.

Before adjourning the meeting, the council also appointed members of the public to various commissions and advisory boards including the Port and Harbors Advisory Board. Grant Crosby was named as the professional designated architect on the Historic Preservation Commission, while Sue Jeffrey and Charlie Davidson were also appointed to the Commission, serving terms until the end of 2026.
Aileen Fitzgerald and Leigh Gorman-Thomet were appointed to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board as alternate 1 and 2 respectively. Both terms expire at the end of this year [2024].
Martin Owen, Ryan Cross and Patrick O’Donnell were appointed to the Port and Harbors Advisory Board, serving terms until the end of 2026.

Finally, David Townsend was recommended to fill one vacant seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission which must be approved by the Kodiak Island Borough. There is still another vacant seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission which is a city seat formerly held by Alan Schmitt.

Kodiak City Council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for January 25th.

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