St. Herman harbor tops Kodiak’s capital improvement projects’ list in city’s request for federal & state funding

Kodiak’s City Council adopted its fiscal year 2025 capital improvement projects priority list for the state and federal governments last week.

The St. Herman harbor replacement is still the top priority, although some of the underlying details and numbers have been updated during recent council meetings.

The final list includes five separate projects, which City Manager Mike Tvenge listed out during last week’s city council meeting.

“Number one on our list this year is St. Herman harbor infrastructure replacement, that’ll cost $11,500,000,” he continued. “Our wastewater treatment plant – $1,900,000. Our new fire department emergency response vehicle for $2,350,000, that’s our ladder truck,” Tvenge said.

The city is also asking for $950,000 to replace the roof at the Russian American Magazin (RAM) that houses the Kodiak History Museum, which is the state’s oldest building, and $3.75 million for improvements to Mission Road and Mill Bay Road.

The city’s wish list overlaps with the Kodiak Island Borough’s list as well. Both prioritized the St. Herman Harbor project, upgrading the wastewater treatment plant facility and road repairs.

Phases one and two of the St. Herman harbor project, which covers the permitting and design work, are expected to cost $16 million. But the city’s updated request to the state is $4.5 million less at $11.5 million, as council members are skeptical they would receive the full amount from the state. Phases three and four, which would be completed between 2026 – 2027, are still estimated to cost $40 million, bringing the project’s total cost to $56 million. Kodiak’s harbor project was the city’s top priority in last year’s capital improvement project list as well.

The city council’s funding requests to both the federal and state governments have the same five projects listed in the same order of priority.

In addition to the capital improvement projects, the state list includes separate requests for state supported projects such as an inflation-proof increase to the base student allocation (BSA), and an increase to state funding for community jails.

Councilmember John Whiddon expressed concern that he wouldn’t know how to explain and advocate for a somewhat ambiguous state supported project listed as food security.

“I couldn’t tell anybody specifically what we are talking about in ‘infrastructure to address food security.’ And I am about to vote on this, so I wonder if when this gets to Juneau if anyone else would know what we are talking about,” Whiddon questioned.

City Manager Tvenge said the language would be clarified so that legislators in Juneau would have a better idea of what the council is requesting for state supported projects.

On the city’s federal list, separate federal supported issues for FY 2025 include:
•Authorization & appropriation for a General Investigation Study with the USACE for future development of a deep-water turning basin and additional pier space in the Kodiak vicinity
•Defense Community Infrastructure Program for USCG communities
• Kodiak Fisheries Disaster – Local Government Fish Tax Reimbursement

The Kodiak City Council will not only look to the Alaska Legislature, but also for potential state loans, or federal grants as funding sources for their latest capital improvement projects.

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