CBJ Assembly asks for resolution backing power to the end of Glacier Highway

The Juneau Assembly has asked the city’s Law Department to draft a resolution calling for an extension of electrical power to the end of Glacier Highway.

The idea came out of two Assembly retreats, where members discussed goals for the next year. Those goals have yet to be officially adopted, and public comment was not allowed at either retreat.

Deputy Mayor Mary Becker made a motion at Monday’s regular meeting asking for the resolution. She says extending power to the end of the road could open up development and benefit the Kensington Mine as well as other mining prospects in the area.

“It would at least start with something, and there would be benefits, cost savings, I think, with having electricity out there,” Becker says.

Other members did not object to the motion, and Becker thinks the idea enjoys broad Assembly support.

But Assembly member Jesse Kiehl says a lot will depend on who pays for it. He says he would not support a project that uses local CBJ tax dollars.

“It’s not my top priority for our taxpayer dollar,” Kiehl says. “But I think that the idea of getting more electricity – there are businesses out near the end of the road that are actually looking into generating their own power – so, I like the concept of getting electrical infrastructure to more parts of the borough.”

One idea is to get money inserted into the state operating or capital budget.

The resolution is supposed to come back to the Assembly as soon as December 10th, in time for a vote before Governor Sean Parnell releases his proposed budgets for the next fiscal year.

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