February 23, 2012 | Vol. 42 No. 7

Funds set for center roof study

The Haines Borough Assembly has slated $50,000 for a Chilkat Center roof engineering study and $75,000 for a borough-wide facility master plan.

The money is part of an ordinance with several fiscal year 2012 budget amendments, set for a third public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

“These have come out of discussions of various committees, and there was a prior action of the assembly allocating the $50,000 for Chilkat Center roof engineering,” said borough manager Mark Earnest.

Last December, a community facility master plan was the third-ranked item on the assembly’s list of capital budget priorities for the Alaska Legislature, trailing boat harbor and Lutak Dock improvements.

“Subsequent to the development and submittal of the borough’s (fiscal year 2013) legislative requests, with respect to a facility master plan, I think that we’ve had enough discussion that I wanted to put forward the idea of funding a part of that, at least, through local sources,” Earnest said.

He noted the borough requested $150,000 from the state to help with the master plan and said better than expected borough sales tax revenues would partially fund the projects.

“In addition to that, we have capital projects (funds), and those don’t lapse,” Earnest said. “There have been a number of projects that have been funded over prior years that, for one reason or another, came in under (budget) or were deemed not necessary or obsolete or they can be deferred until a later time.”

Assemblyman Jerry Lapp asked Earnest if allocating money for Chilkat Center roof engineering and a facility master plan that would include the Chilkat Center would be “double dipping.”

“There would be a completely different focus for those two engineering studies,” Earnest said. “The first, for the Chilkat Center, would be specific for roof repairs, and the master plan will look at all of the borough facilities – with respect to taking available information that has already been generated by staff and others – condition assessments and look at annual operating costs, deferred maintenance needs of each of the facilities, the estimated life expectancy, and weigh all of that against the costs of new construction, of potential consolidation of existing structures.”

A minimal approach outlined by engineers for the borough last year estimated necessary upgrades to make the building “safe” and “dry” at $650,000.