Arsenic treatment project funding to get hearing

Posted: Monday, April 17, 2006

A measure transferring nearly $210,000 from a roof-replacement account to a project for removing arsenic from the drinking water at eight borough schools is one of several ordinances up for public hearing at Tuesday’s meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

The arsenic water treatment project began in January 2004. Over the next three years, the borough has appropriated $820,000 toward the treatment project, funding studies to determine how best to comply with stricter standards imposed by the Environmental Conservation Agency and to initiate purchase of equipment destined for Nikiski-North Star Elementary, McNeil Canyon Elementary and Cooper Landing School.

Of the $820,000, about $404,000 remains in the project account. At the April 4 meeting, the assembly approved a resolution moving a little over $251,000 from the completed Kenai Central High School roof project account to pay for installing arsenic equipment at Sterling and Tustumena Elementary Schools.

A roof project at Homer Middle School got state funding in the current state budget, thus freeing up $209,860 for the arsenic project. It would allow award of the final arsenic mitigation project at Nikiski High School. The other two schools of concern were Skyview High School, where tests showed arsenic levels below EPA limits, and Nikiski Elementary, which is no longer being used as a school.

Among the other ordinances up for public hearing are:

· Appropriating $50,000 in Kachemak Emergency Service Area funds for purchase of a water tender.

· Proposed changes to the borough’s material site permitting process;

· Authorizing billing for ambulance and emergency medical services by the Nikiski Fire Service Area,

· Adopting a revised fee schedule for billing of ambulance, equipment and other EMS services in the Central Emergency Service Area and Central Peninsula Emergency Medical Service Area.

· Increasing the tax on motor vehicles.

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