The Kodiak City Council took another step toward updating its aging utility infrastructure at Thursday night's meeting with the adoption of the downtown water and sewer master plan.
The current water, sewer and storm drain network under the streets of downtown were put in as downtown was rebuilt after the 1964 earthquake and tsunami, as Councilman Charlie Davidson noted.
"And the have a life span of approximately 30 years. Well, we've almost doubled that. They're asbestos-cement pipes, so you can see we're skating on pretty thin ice on some of these. And with the present Alaska Municipal Matching Grant Program probably being reduced substantially, we've go to start realizing we've got to start saving for these programs. And these people who say cut and cut and cut, if you don't plan your future for your municipality, you won't have one."
City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski said the passage of the master plan would pave the way for the city to be able to seek the funding for such large infrastructure projects.
"That will give us a guidance and the community some guidance on what the plan will be. Of course it's very expensive to replace that infrastructure, and we have to wait until there's money available through these traditional programs. We do not fund this straight out of the General Fund. We couldn't afford to do so."
Councilman John Whiddon, no stranger to Cannery Row, said the upgrades were important to the city's industry.
"But the critical infrastructure services, primarily services the seafood industry, with a couple of pumping stations that deliver water along Shelikof Street and Marine Way. I'm glad we've broke these out in phases and hopefully we can at some point we can secure the funding ... it's a very well written plan, so thank you."
The measure passed the council unanimously.