With less than a week until the deadline, roughly 30 percent of Petersburg-area voters have cast ballots on whether to form a borough.
The Alaska Division of Elections sent more than 2,400 ballots in late November. As of Thursday morning, the division had received 752 back through the mail.
The ballot asks whether voters want to dissolve the City of Petersburg and form a new Petersburg Borough. Candidates for Borough Mayor and Assembly seats as well as other local offices also appear on the ballot. There are no contested races for those seats and several have no candidates.
In addition to greater taxation and planning powers, forming a borough would expand Petersburg’s boundaries to include an area roughly 83 times the size of the current city limits. Most of that area is undeveloped. But it also would include the small city of Kupreanof, as well as a number of other neighborhoods, residences and businesses for an estimated population increase of around ten percent.
The borough would encompass all of Mitkof and Woewodski Islands and about half of Kupreanof Island. It also includes the mainland territory from Le Conte Bay to Holkum Bay just south of the Juneau Borough Boundary.
The City and Borough of Juneau submitted a petition to annex some of that same territory, and has mounted a legal challenge over the issue.
Ballots returned by mail have to be postmarked by no later than Tuesday, December 18th. Ballots can be dropped off at the City of Petersburg. There’s also in-person voting available at Petersburg’s City Council chambers weekdays through the 18th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Residents in a homeless camp off Egan Drive have been given 14 days to vacate the property. The area owned by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority is slated for sale and redevelopment.
- Rural health aides have a long, successful history of improving access to health care in Alaska. Now, dental a program based on that model is improving oral care in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
- From midnight Monday through about 1 p.m. Tuesday, Ketchikan received more than 8 inches of rain.
- Canadian power company Hydro One isn't interested in selling Alaska Electric Light & Power Company. But the Juneau Assembly still wants to study the prospect of a municipal-owned utility.