City Council Considers Additional Funding for Wastewater Treatment Project

Tuesday, June 09 2015

The Unalaska City Council will consider an amendment during their regular meeting Tuesday that could increase funding for a new wastewater treatment plant by more than $3.4 million dollars. If there is a quorum, the city council will hold an executive session on the matter before they vote.


When the ordinance was introduced as new business two weeks ago, City Manager Don Moore reminded the council Unalaska’s wastewater treatment project has been fraught with problems since construction began in 2013.


“It’s incurred some additional costs and I think the project has some 60 change orders associated with it so far," said Moore.


Moore told the council he was concerned about whether work on the treatment plant can continue if the ordinance does not pass.


“We have a number of change orders pending that are being negotiated but are going to need additional funding in order to execute them.”


The project is under a judicial consent decree. If work stops, the city could face fines in addition to those already paid to the Environmental Protection Agency.


Mayor Shirley Marquardt said much of the funding outlined in the ordinance has already been spent.


“It’s a big amount but this is for work that already had to be done, had to be changed, we had extra rebar, extra excavation, all sorts of issues that you all are semi-familiar with," she said.


She said other money will go to pay for what she referred to as a “forensic auditor.”


“Who is really going to be able to start piecing together the 'he-said-seh-said,' this is why we git set back, this is [their] costs.  I believe money for that is going to be set aside to help us get that information and keep going.”


Councilman Tom Enlow said he felt the council should have a thorough understanding of where more than $3.4 million dollars was going before the council hosted a public hearing and debated on the matter.


“I think it’s important that if we’re going to authorize additional funding in this amount to cover change orders, we should be privy to some of the reasons why, what is under negotiation and sensitive figures that we are talking about here," he said.


Three council members are currently out of ton. If they are able to call in for the meeting and there is a quorum, the council will first consider public testimony on the ordinance.  An executive session is scheduled before council members vote.

News Community About Site by Joseph Redmon