May 16, 2013 | Volume 43, Number 19

Borough Digest

Tank project hits a bump

An error in surveying measurements brought construction of the new Barnett water tank to a halt Saturday, Haines Borough public facilities director Carlos Jimenez said this week.

Jimenez said a surveyor made a six-foot error in calculating elevation. The Barnett tank works on a gravity-fed system and is fed by the Tower Road water tank, so elevation is very important in maintaining a functional system, Jimenez said.

Manager Mark Earnest reported to the assembly Tuesday that the borough is considering fixes including building an elevated dirt pad on the site and moving the overflow valve up to make up the difference in elevation.

Jimenez said the borough is also looking into making the tank’s walls higher.

Assembly member Norm Smith inquired during Tuesday’s assembly meeting who would be bearing the cost of the error. Earnest said the borough is “following up on that.”

The new tank is being shipped over from England, Jimenez said.

During its April 23 meeting, the assembly approved a $115,000 change order for the project. Southeast Roadbuilders’ bid of $535,000 won the construction contract in December. As about $1 million in grant funds is available for the project, the borough added to the project tank insulation and a second mixer (to prevent freezing).

Work on the replacement tank, which must be completed by Aug. 1, should resume later this week, Jimenez said.

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Clerk works new schedule

The Haines Borough clerk is working on a revised schedule of 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and is available to the public until 5 p.m.

Clerk Julie Cozzi started working from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in early January to mitigate the effects of a heavy work load. The schedule changed to 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. last month, Cozzi said.

Manager Mark Earnest said Cozzi was routinely working 12-hour days to get her work done.  Phone calls and walk-ins from the public kept Cozzi from completing more paperwork-driven assignments, like reviewing tour permit applications and putting request for proposal documents together, Earnest said.

Cozzi said she feels more rested and believes her productivity has increased since the schedule change. “I can look forward to an hour-and-a-half to two hours of protected time when the phones are not ringing and the people are not coming in,” she said.

Deputy clerk Michelle Webb works 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The clerk’s office is well-covered, and I have not had anyone bring anything to my attention that says they are not receiving services,” Cozzi said.

Earnest said he is looking into implementing a similar adjustment for planning and zoning technician Tracy Cui. While Cui’s hours wouldn’t change, certain times and/or days would be allotted for specific services, like building permit applications, Earnest said.

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Trail effort gets a boost

The Haines Borough will contribute $5,000 for improvements to the Battery Point trail this summer, and is looking for up to $10,000 from the Division of State Parks for use on the project.

Manager Mark Earnest said the borough also will be providing some staff time and will manage the project through the hiring of a contractor, who will design and oversee trail work.

Earnest said some of the trail will feature boardwalk constructed from salvaged timbers from the Port Chilkoot Dock, while other sections will be gravel.

Park ranger Preston Kroes said details of the project are still in the works, such as exactly where the funding is going to come from and who is going to perform the work.

Kroes said he is optimistic it will all come together, though. “It looks really good. Everybody seems interested in getting the work done,” Kroes said.

Approximately $15,000 has been spent each year over the past three years for improvements to the trail, rehabilitating about one-quarter mile of trail, Kroes said.