Petersburg, Alaska (KINY) State land will now be owned by the Petersburg Borough.
Governor Bill Walker visited the panhandle town Thursday to sign Senate Bill 28. It will increase the Petersburg Borough land entitlement to 14,666 acres from the 1,896 acres granted when the borough was formed in 2013.
Sitka Senator Burt Stedman sponsored the legislation. He said the land grant will put the Petersburg Borough on equal footing with other municipalities. He said the land could include waterfront property that could be used for tourism development, residential lots and even gravel pits. "The Petersburg Borough will now have more control over its destiny. The folks in Petersburg will select land they can use for economic development. This will allow Petersburg to grow and become even more self sufficient."
The Borough will soon select what acreage they want from the inventory of state owned land within their boundaries.
The Petersburg Borough will select the acreage from seven different areas within the borough boundaries. All selections will be made from vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved state lands. No selections will interfere with existing state, University, or Alaska Mental Health Trust lands, including the Southeast State Forest, or private ownership.
“My staff and I started working on this issue with Mayor Jensen, and his staff, Liz Cabrera, back in the fall of 2016,” Sen. Stedman said. “That hard work for growth and economic development in the future for the residents of the City & Borough of Petersburg is now final. I appreciate Governor Walker’s support, and the help of his staff and the Department of Natural Resources.”
SB 28 passed both legislative bodies unanimously.