New sewers for N. Douglas to reduce pollution

Posted: Tuesday, October 03, 2000

North Douglas residents' sewer systems soon will connect with the city's treatment plant instead of dumping their discharge into Gastineau Channel.

The Juneau Assembly passed an ordinance creating a local improvement district for that purpose at its Monday night meeting.

A new sewer main will be installed along Channel Drive, across Gastineau Channel, and along North Douglas Highway and the shoreline to the Bonnie Brae Subdivision sewer outfall pipe.

The project budget is $4.6 million and will be funded by grants from the state, comprising about 51 percent of the budget - $2.34 million; the North Douglas properties affected, 18 percent or $835,000; and city sales tax and sewer fund revenues, 31 percent or $1.43 million.

The assembly's Public Works and Facilities Committee set an assessment at $5,000 per lot for non-Bonnie Brae property owners, $3,500 per lot for Bonnie Brae property owners, and a $1,000 credit in cases where property owners are required to construct on-lot sewerage lift stations.

Only one North Douglas resident showed up at the assembly meeting to testify against the ordinance, claiming the assessment of the extra $1,500 to non-Bonnie Brae owners was unfair.

"Why are 124 Bonnie Brae residents paying less than the 64 residents (from outside the subdivision)?" asked Sharon Fitzgerald.

City project engineer Rorie Watt explained that the rates were the same as for the Back Loop Sewer Project.

An existing sewer system ran through the Brigadoon subdivision in that project, he said, which made connection costs lower than for lots outside the subdivision. This in turn meant a lower assessment for Brigadoon residents.

Those conditions are similar to Bonnie Brae's, he said.

Some Bonnie Brae residents also would have to bear the added cost of decommissioning existing septic tanks on their property, Watt said.

Bid openings for the project are scheduled for this week, with the lowest bid going to the assembly Oct. 16, according to the city engineering office. Construction will run from November of this year through November 2001.

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