The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Robert Reisner
Clear Creek 

Citizen input needed for flood mitigation funding



The comments stated in this article are the opinion of Robert Reisner and do not represent the Seward/Bear Creek Flood Service Area board.

Greetings my fel...

“We interrupt this regularly scheduled article to bring you this important message. Hear Ye. Hear Ye. Let thy aricle preseent thy views, opinions and thy statements be proclaimed as thy view of thy writer, Bob Reisner and thou shall be endorsed by thy SBCFSA, MSLF, KPB, AK-DNR and the decoras and ill conceived whose parents were so dim witted as to bring them into this world. Now back to your article – with no commercials.

...low citizens, it has been no secret that your SBCFSA over the past decade has been overloaded with various preliminary projects, studies, reports and plans for several state and federal agencies. Your past and present SBCFSA board members and staff have also historically been underfunded; hence my previous descriptions, our 98-pound welp. However, the day of change may be upon us. At the top of KPB 2013 State Funded Projects Tier One Priorities is the Seward-Bear Creek Flood Mitigation funding request for $5 million.

Citizens are encouraged to write the following legislators to better insure that KPB will receive this funding request: Senator Cathy Giessel Alaska State Senate, State Capital, Juneau, AK 99801; Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, Alaska State Representatives, Alaska State Capital, Juneau, AK 99801. Legislative finance members include Click Bishop, Mike Dunleavy, Anna Fairclough, Lyman Hoffman, Pete Kelly, Kevin Meyer and Donald Olson and they can be reached at P.O. Box 113200, Juneau, AK 99811.

Also the KPB Federal Funding Request - 2013, lists Seward-Bear Creek Flood mitigation in the number two position, with a funding request of $4.2 million. In order to get this ball rolling please write to: The Honorable Mark Begich, United States Senate, 144 Russell Senate Building, Washington, D.C. 20510; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, United States Senate, 709 Hart Building, Washington D.C. 20510 and of course; the Honorable Don Young, U.S. House of Representatives, 2314 Rayburn Building, Washington D.C. 20510. Please address all when you write them at a state or federal level. Please address them as “The Honorable,” request their full support, be respectful and keep it to one page.

This is the one important way that you may assist to lessen flood risk and damage. These funds would allow your KPB SBCFSA to provide matching funds that are required for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and your SBCFSA to perform the projects that are so desperately needed within our community.

The SBCFSA 2013 annual budget was passed at our last meeting. This year’s agenda has four sections of Kwechack Creek that may receive streambank stabilization. Should these state and federal funding requests materialize, Jap Creek could have an engineered water revetment (levee) structure as well as Kwechack and Box Canyon levees as well. As for the Kwechack Levee we might gain a certified levee designed by the U.S. ACE in 2017. Old Mill Subdivision could receive a new bridge and armoring of the streambanks above, at and below the bridgehead. Also streamed mitigation could take place on the Salmon Creek watershed and annual maintenance could be established. All of this is based upon the outcome on the KPB 2013 state and federal funding request and the Citizens of Alaska versus the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources class action lawsuit in Juneau.

With all that’s going on I was not surprised to hear that Alaska DNR is considering dropping their gravel extraction royalty fee for flood mitigation projects, depending how their rules are written. On this we’ll have to wait and see.

Your SBCFSA still needs a civic minded citizen from our community to serve on Seat A. This would be by appointment and would serve through to next fall’s election. Your SBCFSA is 10 years old this year and remains as the only flood service area in the state and one of the few in our nation. FEMA last December informed your SBCFSA senior board members and staff that the KPB Seward Bear Creek Flood Recovery Plan was excellent and that they could show it to other communities in our nation as an example for disaster recovery planning. High marks from a federal agency, but what else could you expect… looking at the source… remember ‘64… yup we know disasters.

KPB Mayor Mike Navarre and his staff along with the KPB Assembly and our own Sue McClure have made a herculean effort to assist us in solving the dilemma of our frequent flood events. I would like to take a moment and thank them, for their consideration, efforts and involvement.

Seward’s new museum and library opened ahead of schedule and under budget, something that doesn’t happen much in this day and age. One person above all others who is responsible for this result is Mr. Ron Long, Seward’s Assistant City Manager. Thank you Mr. Long on another job well done.

Well, I wrote you in a previous article that some day we would be going to the big time, the three-ring circus of more federal involvement. We’re at the big top…our ticket is torn…we’re entering the tent…and will ya look and see who the ringleader is…Oh momma, it’s Obama.

“This article was brought to you by several pots of coffee, a pack of cigarettes, several rewrites and…a serious lack of sleep.”


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