New refuse dumpster truck purchase on hold

Council discusses financial logistics of potential PWS borough

Plans to replace a 17-year-old refuse dumpster truck have been placed on hold after the consideration of bids was referred to staff during the Aug. 15 Cordova City Council meeting.

A decision on the first reading of ordinance 1171, authorizing the transfer of $269,000 from the general reserve fund (permanent fund) to the refuse enterprise fund for the purchase of a refuse truck, was subsequently postponed.

“This was the low responsible bid on this truck,” City Manager Alan Lanning said. “There’s very little I can say about the cost. The cost is what it is. They’re very expensive because of the type of truck, and the hauling capacity and the equipment needed on the truck … not everybody in the world outfits one of these, plus we have delivery charges.”

Intense discussion also surrounded the resolution for the city to contribute funds for an economic analysis of a Prince William Sound borough, potentially consisting of Girdwood, Whittier and Cordova.

Resolution 08-18-19, if passed, would amend the 2018 budget by appropriating $20,000 from the city’s general reserve fund and transferring it into the #401 fund.

Councilmembers ultimately referring the resolution to staff, stated it was brought on too swiftly, that there was lack of community discussion, and that Cordova’s portion to contribute to the borough feasibility study was too much.

“We need to have a discussion at least amongst the key stakeholders within our own community that involve the school district and Native villages and Native corporations … before we start spending a bunch of money …,” Councilmember David Allison said.

Councilmembers also cited Valdez’s lack of interest in the PWS borough as a red flag.

“At this point, the entire conversation is speculative because we have no idea what the pros and cons are for Cordova specifically,” Councilmember Anne Schaefer said. “I think participating in and having a seat at the table in these discussions and in this study will give us that information … we can bring that information back to the community and have a more informed discussion.”

Council also passed resolution 07-18-18 which amended the 2018 budget by appropriating $122,146 from the city’s general reserve fund and transferring it into the general projects fund to complete a comprehensive plan update.

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Emily Mesner is a staff reporter and photographer for The Cordova Times. Reach her at emesner@thecordovatimes.com. Emily graduated from Central Michigan University, earning a degree in photojournalism with a cultural competency certificate. She first visited Alaska in 2016, working as a media intern for the National Park Service in Kotzebue and Denali National Park and Preserve, and has been coming back ever since. To see more photos, follow @thecordovatimes and @emilymesnerphoto on Instagram.