By Leigh Armstrong

The borough has preliminary plans and a cost estimate of $6.6 million to extend water and sewer lines all the way out to the state Department of Transportation yard past the Skagway River Bridge. But without funding, it cannot go to bid for any of the work.

The assembly at its Sept. 19 meeting discussed the possibility of getting a loan from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Additionally, Assemblymember Orion Hanson said the municipality could apply for grants.

“While this is a substantial cost, there are ways this can be less on the taxpayers,” Hanson said. 

The water and sewer extension could cross the bridge and then stop short of the highway yard. The borough does not have a cost estimate for that shorter project, but it still comes down to funding.

“Without an approved funding source, we can’t put a bid out for water and sewer across the bridge,” Hanson said. 

After meeting with the public works department, Hanson said engineering work for the project is scheduled to be done by January. 

“This is a high-priority project for the city because it is directly related to improving our housing situation,” Hanson said. 

The extension would open opportunities for more housing, including an RV park that would serve as a replacement for the Garden City RV Park.

The initial plan for the extension would have the sewer line and utilities go out to the Dyea Road turn-off as part of the first phase.

Public works also recommended that the municipality let the Department of Transportation work on the extension to its area, since it would have to match DOT standards.