Sand, drainage top Ossiander's priority list

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 11:12
Sullivan releases fiscal year 2013 budget requests

A heated winter sand storage building and drainage improvements for The Tablelands subdivision are priorities for Assembly chair Debbie Ossiander.

With recommendations from Ossiander and Assemblyman Bill Starr — each of whom represents Chugiak-Eagle River — Mayor Dan Sullivan wants to ask the state Legislature for $3 million for The Tablelands and $1.2 million for a sand storage facility in his fiscal year 2013 budget requests.

Construction of a new sand storage building is required by the federal government, said Mark Littlefield, Eagle River Street Maintenance general foreman.

“We’ve got to comply with the permit that says we have to have our sand inside a covered storage by 2014,” he said.

“It’s a must have,” Ossiander added.

Ossiander said the Chugiak/Birchwood/Eagle River Rural Road Service Area Board was told it would cost $5 million to fix The Tablelands’ drainage problem, which has plagued the high-end Peters Creek neighborhood since construction began in 2004.

The flooding problems are a result of the city’s lax drainage requirements for the subdivision, Ossiander said.

“The ditches there are only a foot deep in places,” she said.

Though still seeking state funding, Littlefield said construction is slated to start next year.

Deeper ditches and French drains will be installed on both sides of the road, Littlefield said. French drains direct water into pipes, which take water away from the subdivision, he said.

Littlefield said the new drainage system should dry up the entire area.

Ossiander said funds for drainage studies were also requested, as standing water throughout Chugiak-Eagle River has been a major issue in the community over the past five years.

“The old ditches just aren’t catching the water enough,” she said.

Though the sand storage facility and Tablelands drainage project are top priorities for Ossiander, they’re not for Sullivan. In fact, not one Chugiak-Eagle River-related project is listed in Sullivan’s priority capital budget requests, which are listed first in the mayor’s requests.

But Ossiander is hoping to change that.

Ossiander said she wants both projects to join Sullivan’s priority capital budget requests, which begins with a $350 million request for the Port of Anchorage expansion project.

Ossiander said she listens to all groups seeking state funds, but at the end of the day, the budget request is just that — a request.

“I look at this as a wish list,” Ossiander said.

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