Thousands of additional acres opened to Petersburg Borough for economic, resource development
November 16, 2017
(SitNews) Petersburg, Alaska - Governor Bill Walker today signed legislation to help increase economic and resource development opportunities in the Petersburg Borough. When the Petersburg Borough was created by the voters in 2013 they had only received 1,896 acres, of which roughly 450 had already been given to the City of Petersburg. With passage of the SB 28, the Petersburg Borough is now on equal-footing with the state’s other 18 organized boroughs across the State of Alaska. SB 28, sponsored by Sen. Bert Stedman (R-Sitka), rectifies this situation by increasing the Petersburg Borough’s land entitlement to 14,666 acres.
“Given our state’s fiscal climate, it is critical that we give our local communities and boroughs the necessary tools to be as economically sustainable and self-sufficient as possible,” Governor Walker said.
Walker said, “This bill does exactly that, allowing the Petersburg Borough to take full advantage of potential development opportunities in the region, and help build a Stronger Alaska. I thank Senator Bert Stedman for sponsoring this legislation, and Mayor Jensen and Representatives Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and Sam Kito for supporting it.”
“The Petersburg Borough will now have more control over its destiny,” said Sen. Stedman. “The folks in Petersburg will select land they can use for economic development as well as rock and sand material sites for future projects, waterfront land for tourism development, residential lots, and other uses that will allow Petersburg to grow and become even more self-sufficient.”
The Petersburg Borough will select the acreage from seven different areas within the borough boundaries. All selections will be made from vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved state lands. No selections will interfere with existing state, University, or Alaska Mental Health Trust lands, including the Southeast State Forest, or private ownership.
“My staff and I started working on this issue with Mayor Jensen, and his staff, Liz Cabrera, back in the fall of 2016,” Sen. Stedman said. “That hard work for growth and economic development in the future for the residents of the City & Borough of Petersburg is now final. I appreciate Governor Walker’s support, and the help of his staff and the Department of Natural Resources.”
Senate Bill 28 passed both legislative bodies unanimously.
Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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