Power-ful topic on tap for assembly

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2002

As many as 800 landowners on the northern Kenai Peninsula might use electrical energy were it made available. Today, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will consider a resolution that could help make that happen.

Resolution 2002-150 asks the utilities getting ready to build a new electrical transmission line from Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula to include design and construction of a substation to serve the North Peninsula area in the overall development plan for the Southern Intertie Project.

The utilities, known as the Intertie Participation Group, includes Chugach, Municipal Light and Power, Homer Electric Association, Golden Valley Electric Association, Matanuska Electric Association and Seward Electrical System.

Introduced by assembly member Gary Superman of Nikiski, the resolution notes that in addition to some 800 private property owners, the borough itself owns some 10,000 acres in the region.

The borough is entering the first phase of a project to extend the Kenai Spur Highway, a project dubbed the North Road Extension. That route would be in close proximity to the intertie.

"These combined projects will ultimately lead to the growth and development of the north peninsula area," Superman said in the text of the resolution.

Assembly President Pete Sprague said designing and building a substation to distribute power to future developments in the area made sense.

Joe Gallagher, spokesperson for HEA, said the utility supports the resolution to add a substation.

"Homer Electric is definitely interested in serving the needs of the area and would work with the Intertie Participation Group to make sure a design provides a location for a future substation," he said.

The intertie will be built across Turnagain Arm and down the western side of the peninsula. Construction reportedly could take three years and cost an estimated $100 million.

In other business, the assembly will introduce ordinance 2002-40 confirming the assessment roll for the Tote Road and Echo Lake Road Subdivision Utility Special Assessment District. The 288 lots within the district will share in the cost of paying for a new gas main that already has been constructed. Each lot will be assessed $2,181.97, an equal share of the $628,407.36 cost.

Also on the assembly agenda is consideration of the borough's 2003 legislative priorities. A draft of the priorities list is an inch thick.

Sprague said he expects the full assembly to discuss some of the projects but noted the body's Legislative Committee just last week spent 5 1/2 hours reviewing the draft. A motion to approve the draft as the final list would be introduced tonight, he said, and a formal resolution accepting it as the final list presented to the assembly at its Jan. 7 meeting.

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