Shore power, river erosion, discussed by CBJ Committee

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) -The CBJ Assembly Public Works Committee moved along funding for a new roof at the Rainforest Recovery Center.

    The Hospital requested an additional $600,000 to pay for a roof replacement for the center.  The additional funds were included in the draft Capital Improvement Project for 2020.

    "We want to put the project out to bid this spring.  It will be ready to go by July 1st.  We'd like to take advantage of a longer construction season," Public Works Director Mike Vigue said.

    The committee recommended the request for additional funds be approved by the full Assembly.

    City Manager Rorie Watt recommended the allocation of $250,000 from passenger fee funds for a study and analysis for additional shore power infrastructure.  In July, a large ship might account for 25 percent of the total load on the electric system.  Last July, the cruise ships used 1.5 million kilowatts per hour, Greens Creek mine used 6 million, residential customers 8.6 million and the remainder of customers used 14 kilowatts per hour.

    For 2018, cruise ships used 6 million out of a total 391 million total kilowatts, or 1.5 percent of the total kilowatts sold.  In 2019 Alaska Electric Light & Power expects 105 cruise ships to connect.

    One dock is already equipped with electric.  The CBJ is considering adding electric to two additional docks.

    Assembly member Wade Bryson said it would be good for the Juneau economy for cruise ships to use local electric rather than Seattle diesel. 

    Kirby Day with Princess Cruises said they would use hookups if they were made available by the CBJ.

    Mike Tibbles with Cruise Lines International Association said it is too early for them to commit to using the electrified docks.  "The industry is supporting shore power globally.  It is one avenue to comply with international requirements.  Shore power is definitely in the mix."

    Community Development Director Jill Maclean said six property owners who live on Meander Way along the Mendenhall River have applied for easements with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.   The property owners seek to stabilize the riverbank.

    The property owners must comply with all FEMA regulations.  The CBJ is required to enforce floodplain ordinances required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  If the CBJ is deemed out of compliance it could mean a $50 per property increase in flood insurance for all property in the borough.  Suspension would mean the CBJ would not receive federal disaster funds, homeowners could not get flood insurance, and federally-backed loans could not be issued for homes purchased or built within the flood plain.

    Permits are also being sought from Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    Residents want to protect their property and don't want erosion to continue.

    The Committee heard a presentation on the question of whether the Airport North Terminal project should be required to obtain LEED standards.

    It would cost $1.5 million to meet federal LEED certification.   LEED is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  Federal dollars are expected to fund 70 percent of the building project but does not pay for LEED certification.  Local funds must be used.  The cost to locals would be between $500,000 and $700,000.

    "We still have a commitment to be efficient and green and have set the bar for using geo-thermal energy," Airport Manager Patty Wahto added.

    Chairman Michele Bonnet-Hale said they intend to hold a public meeting March 11 at 6 pm to discuss the new Juneau Arts and Culture Center.   This will include a presentation on the status of the project and will also include scheduling other meetings.


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