The report recommends the commission approve the borough petition mostly as presented, but leaving Tracy Arm and the Whiting River out of the most northeast portion of the proposed borough, adjacent to Juneau. Petersburg Mayor Al Dwyer says that was expected, because Juneau could document more activity there.
“That was one of the concessions we were willing to make anyway,” Dwyer says.
The LBC staff recommendation would leave most of Petersburg’s proposed borough territory intact. The City and Borough of Juneau has a pending competing petition to annex nearly half that territory, including Holkum, Windham and Hobart bays as well as Port Houghton and Cape Fanshaw. Both communities claim current and historic ties to the largely undeveloped lands and waterways.
Juneau Mayor Bruce Bothello says Juneau will stay involved in the issue as the process continues.
“It appears that the staff has not given any weight to the information that we provided about Juneau’s historic use to areas to and including Hobart Bay, and that’s an issue of concern to us,” Botelho says.
The Petersburg Borough would encompass an area roughly a hundred times the size of its current city limits. It would include the small, neighboring city of Kupreanof, which has opposed the plan along with many other outlying residents.
The public has until March 28th to comment on the boundary commission’s preliminary report. The commission itself is slated hold a hearing in late May before it decides whether to allow the Petersburg’s petition to move ahead.
- Heli-skiing has long been a controversial topic in Haines. The interests of the industry often clash with people who live near heliports and don’t want the noise disturbing their peace and quiet. But there’s another group that’s impacted by helicopter noise: mountain goats.
- In the Northwest Arctic, caribou hunting has been contentious for years. Alaska’s largest herd continues to decline while tensions have emerged between rural subsistence users and outside hunters.
- From the Aleutian island of Akutan to the arctic village of Kiana, 13 communities have been crowned champions of a rural energy competition. The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced that it will help these communities cut their energy use by 15 percent by training local utility providers.
- It’s costing 14 percent more to take the ferry to and from the Lower 48. The higher fare is part of another round of tariff increases aimed at boosting income and equalizing rates across all routes.