Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

03/17/2009 08:00 AM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS


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08:05:19 AM Start
08:05:48 AM Denali Commission
08:46:20 AM HB161
09:14:38 AM HB150
09:27:44 AM HB156
09:36:33 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 161 CERTIFICATES OF PARTICIPATION FOR SUBPORT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 161(CRA) Out of Committee
+= HB 150 POWER COST EQUALIZATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+= HB 156 ALLOWING CERTAIN LANDFILL FEE WAIVERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Denali Commission Update by George TELECONFERENCED
Cannelos
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                   
                         March 17, 2009                                                                                         
                           8:05 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Herron, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Cathy Engstrom Munoz, Co-Chair                                                                                   
Representative Wes Keller                                                                                                       
Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                 
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
Representative Berta Gardner                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative John Harris                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
OVERVIEW(S):  DENALI COMMISSION                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 161                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to the  Alaska Mental  Health Trust  Authority                                                               
Subport   Office   Building;    authorizing   the   issuance   of                                                               
certificates of  participation for  construction of  the building                                                               
and  authorizing the  use of  up to  $25,000,000 from  the mental                                                               
health  trust fund  for construction  of the  building; approving                                                               
leases  of all  or  part of  the building  by  the Department  of                                                               
Administration; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 161(CRA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 150                                                                                                              
"An Act  repealing certain provisions  relating to  modifying the                                                               
factors  that  apply  to  calculate  the  amount  of  power  cost                                                               
equalization; providing  for an  effective date by  repealing the                                                               
effective date  of sec. 3, ch.  2, 4SSLA 2008; and  providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 156                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to municipal  fees charged for disposal of waste                                                               
material   from  the   substantial  rehabilitation,   renovation,                                                               
demolition, removal, or replacement of a structure on                                                                           
deteriorated property."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 161                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CERTIFICATES OF PARTICIPATION FOR SUBPORT                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) MUNOZ                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
02/27/09       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/27/09       (H)       CRA, FIN                                                                                               
03/12/09       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/12/09       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/12/09       (H)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
03/17/09       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 150                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: POWER COST EQUALIZATION                                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) AUSTERMAN                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
02/25/09       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/25/09       (H)       CRA, FIN                                                                                               
03/12/09       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/12/09       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/12/09       (H)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
03/17/09       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 156                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ALLOWING CERTAIN LANDFILL FEE WAIVERS                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) LYNN                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
02/25/09       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/25/09       (H)       CRA                                                                                                    
03/12/09       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/12/09       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/17/09       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE CANNELOS, Federal Co-Chair                                                                                               
Denali Commission                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided an overview of the Denali                                                                       
Commission.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN BROOKS, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                               
Department of Administration (DOA)                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  During hearing of HB 161, answered                                                                       
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HARRY NOAH, Executive Director                                                                                                  
Trust Land Office                                                                                                               
Alaska Mental Health Trust                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 161.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BOB CHARLES, Energy Coordinator                                                                                                 
Association of Village Council Presidents                                                                                       
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 150.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ERIN HARRINGTON, Staff                                                                                                          
Representative Alan Austerman                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke on behalf of the sponsor of HB 150,                                                                
Representative Austerman.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BOB LYNN, Alaska State Legislature                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke as the sponsor of HB 161.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KATHRYN DODGE, Economic Development Specialist                                                                                  
Fairbanks North Star Borough;                                                                                                   
Director, Alaska Regional Development Organization (ARDOR)                                                                      
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified that she has no objection to HB
156.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MARK MARLOW, Principal                                                                                                          
Marlow Corporation                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Encouraged the committee's favorable vote                                                                
for HB 156.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:05:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  BOB  HERRON called  the  House  Community and  Regional                                                             
Affairs  Standing  Committee  meeting   to  order  at  8:05  a.m.                                                               
Representatives  Herron,  Munoz,   Keller,  Millet,  Cissna,  and                                                               
Gardner were present at the call to order.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
^Denali Commission                                                                                                            
Overview:  Denali Commission                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
8:05:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON announced that the  first order of business would                                                               
be the presentation from the Denali Commission.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:06:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE  CANNELOS, Federal  Co-Chair, Denali  Commission, reminded                                                               
the committee that the regional  commissions have been around for                                                               
many years, of which the  Appalachian Regional Commission was the                                                               
genesis  of  the Denali  Commission.    However, the  Appalachian                                                               
Regional  Commission enjoys  the support  of 26  senators and  13                                                               
governors.   He pointed out  that although the  Denali Commission                                                               
has enjoyed  [congressional support], Alaska is  one state versus                                                               
the   large  regions   [that  makeup   the  other   commissions].                                                               
Therefore, the  politics are very  different.  He noted  that the                                                               
Delta Regional Commission is the  newest commission, and the Farm                                                               
Bill  last  year created  four  new  regional commissions.    The                                                               
concept of  the regional commission  in order to  focus resources                                                               
and   produce   better   government  is   ascending,   which   he                                                               
characterized as a healthy occurrence.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. CANNELOS  clarified that the  Denali Commission is  a federal                                                               
agency  and  is part  of  the  federal administration,  which  is                                                               
challenging in terms of funding.   He highlighted that the Denali                                                               
Commission has  a good record of  transparency and accountability                                                               
with one of  the best web sites and databases  in the government.                                                               
Over the past  10 years the Denali Commission  has invested close                                                               
to $1 billion and leveraged that  to about $2 billion.  The focus                                                               
has  been on  basic community  infrastructure across  Alaska, but                                                               
primarily  in rural  Alaska.   He  further  highlighted that  the                                                               
Denali Commission  has created some really  good grant-making and                                                               
accountability  systems.   Mr. Cannelos  then turned  to how  the                                                               
Denali Commission  can be  more effective  and work  more closely                                                               
with the  state, particularly in  regard to capital  projects and                                                               
planning  and capital  projects delivery  as well  as maintaining                                                               
and  sustaining  the  Denali  Commission  in  the  future.    Mr.                                                               
Cannelos  then  directed attention  to  the  slide of  the  seven                                                               
commissioners of  the Denali Commissioner,  and pointed  out that                                                               
these  individuals  wouldn't normally  sit  down  together.   The                                                               
aforementioned  has   been  a  healthy   process.     The  Denali                                                               
Commission,  he  explained,  is  the  group  that's  supposed  to                                                               
strategically  work   together  to   achieve  parity   for  those                                                               
communities and take advantage of  opportunities in rural Alaska.                                                               
He related  that the  Denali Commission  is a  small organization                                                               
that's open to the public and  has limited overhead.  In fact, in                                                               
10  years   there's  probably  only  been   about  six  four-year                                                               
requests.   Furthermore, over  the past  three years,  there have                                                               
been  no project  earmarks from  Congress.   He related  that the                                                               
Denali  Commission's  appropriations   come  from  six  different                                                               
committees,   which  means   that  decisions   for  the   various                                                               
appropriations are  made in  the state.   For example,  there's a                                                               
general  appropriation  for  health   and  decisions  for  health                                                               
facilities  are made  in the  state through  the health  steering                                                               
committee and the legislature.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CANNELOS opined  that  much of  rural  Alaska resembles  the                                                               
Third  World, which  is  inexcusable.   He  related  that he  has                                                               
educated a couple  of groups from the United  Nations and several                                                               
hundred delegates  from around the world  regarding the forgotten                                                               
North,  which includes  the  circumpolar  North, Canada,  Russia,                                                               
some of  Scandinavia, and much  of Alaska.   Using the  data from                                                               
the  United  Nations,  much  of  Alaska  resembles  [Third  World                                                               
nations].    He  recalled  being   in  Rampart  last  summer  and                                                               
observing that its  school had closed.  The closure  of a school,                                                               
he noted, is often the death  knell of a community.  Mr. Cannelos                                                               
then directed attention  to the pie chart  entitled "Funding Uses                                                               
FY99-FY08," which relates that since  the inception of the Denali                                                               
Commission over half  of the funding has been used  for energy, a                                                               
third of the  funding has been used for health  accounts, and the                                                               
remainder  of the  funding has  been used  for training,  teacher                                                               
housing,  and transportation.    The bar  graph entitled  "Denali                                                               
Commission Funding Sources FY99-FY09"  relates almost $80 million                                                               
in  funding  for  FY09.    Mr.  Cannelos  credited  U.S.  Senator                                                               
Murkowski,  Senator Begich,  and  Congressman  Young for  keeping                                                               
[the funding] at  its current level because often  the U.S. House                                                               
of Representatives  will try to  zero out the  Denali Commission,                                                               
but  the   U.S.  Senate  comes   to  the  rescue.     The  Denali                                                               
Commission's  transportation funding  is whole,  but the  health,                                                               
training, and energy funding has [been  cut in] half.  "If we can                                                               
hold this line or  even start up in [2010], I  think for the long                                                               
term  the Commission  will be  fine," he  remarked.   However, he                                                               
characterized the  long-term viability  of the  Denali Commission                                                               
as uncertain.  He then moved on  to energy, which has been a good                                                               
story in  terms of replacing  bulk fuel systems,  upgrading power                                                               
plants,  leading  the way  for  renewable  energy, much  capacity                                                               
building, and working with the private sector on sustainability.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:15:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER inquired as to  how many people a facility                                                               
such as Buckland's bulk fuel facility serve.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CANNELOS answered  that it would serve villages  in the range                                                               
of 200-1,500  people.   The notion  is to  provide a  facility at                                                               
which a  barge can make  one trip in  the season and  have enough                                                               
[goods] for the winter.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:16:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HERRON  asked  if the  U.S.  House  of  Representatives                                                               
attempts  to zero  out other  commissions similar  to the  Denali                                                               
Commission.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.   CANNELOS  responded   that  he   isn't  sure   about  other                                                               
commissions, but  reiterated that  it's the  case for  the Denali                                                               
Commission.   He opined that  the congressional attempts  to zero                                                               
out  the  funding  are  the   result  of  Alaska's  inability  to                                                               
communicate its story well.   Furthermore, he suggested that when                                                               
former  U.S.  Senator Ted  Stevens  was  a powerful  member,  the                                                               
situation  was  one of  a  game  of  politics.   He  related  his                                                               
optimism that  in the future  if more relationships can  be built                                                               
in those  House committees,  the Denali  Commission will  be more                                                               
successful.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:17:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  turned to the  issue of flying in  fuel to                                                               
an area,  and opined that  flying in  the fuel likely  saved some                                                               
money because the cost of fuel decreased drastically.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:18:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CANNELOS, referring  to the  bar graph  entitled "Bulk  Fuel                                                               
Progress  Report," pointed  out  that it  relates  that after  10                                                               
years the  Denali Commission  is about  halfway through  the bulk                                                               
fuel program.   However,  he estimated that  it would  cost about                                                               
$200 million  to complete  [the goal of  the bulk  fuel program],                                                               
which  is  why  the  Denali  Commission  intends  to  review  the                                                               
universal  need  to  assess  the situation.    He  then  directed                                                               
attention to the  bar graph entitled "Rural  Power System Upgrade                                                               
Progress  Report."    The  bar graph  illustrates  that  about  a                                                               
quarter of the rural power systems  are complete and it will take                                                               
a large  effort to complete  the upgrade of rural  power systems.                                                               
Mr. Cannelos  then shared a  photograph of the three  wind towers                                                               
in  Hooper Bay,  which he  said is  a good  example of  combining                                                               
efforts and achieving  much.  The wind towers in  Hooper Bay were                                                               
funded by  the Alaska Village Electric  Cooperative, Incorporated                                                               
(AVEC) and  the [Denali Commission's] training  dollars were used                                                               
to send young people to become  certified as wind operators.  The                                                               
[Denali  Commission's]  transportation  dollars funded  the  road                                                               
shown in the slide.  Mr.  Cannelos informed the committee that he                                                               
would  distribute to  the committee  a study  NANA Pacific,  LLC,                                                               
performed  on distributing  Alaska's power.   NANA  Pacific, LLC,                                                               
reviewed the  last 30 years  of interties  across the state.   He                                                               
opined  that  if  there  could be  grids,  then  the  stand-alone                                                               
redundant  systems could  be eliminated  and  scale up  renewable                                                               
energy  and consider  renewable  development.   There  will be  a                                                               
second phase of the aforementioned  study, which will review real                                                               
costs and priorities.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. CANNELOS  told the committee that  the transportation program                                                               
came   out  of   the  Safe,   Accountable,  Flexible,   Efficient                                                               
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy  for Users (SAFETEA-LU).  The                                                               
transportation  program  focused  on  the  circulation  needs  of                                                               
villages,  including   docks  and  harbors,  dust   control,  and                                                               
connecting villages  where it  makes sense.   He  highlighted the                                                               
situation  in Mekoryuk  where there  was the  need to  dredge the                                                               
harbor, the  need for a  transportation program, and the  need to                                                               
install  a  bulk  fuel  system.    Normally,  the  aforementioned                                                               
would've  been an  expensive project  because  the rock  would've                                                               
come from  Nome.   However, someone decided  to put  the projects                                                               
together and  it was  determined that  the dredge  materials from                                                               
the harbor were  suitable for the foundation.   For this project,                                                               
the  Denali Commission  is spending  about $483,000,  $120,000 is                                                               
coming  from  the general  fund,  and  $30,000  from AVEC.    The                                                               
aforementioned is a  good example of the right way  to get things                                                               
done.   He recalled two years  ago when the legislature  passed a                                                               
$5 million  appropriation for the Department  of Transportation &                                                               
Public   Facilities  (DOT&PF)   for  unspecified   transportation                                                               
projects.  Referring to the  construction of teacher housing, Mr.                                                               
Cannelos related  that there is  evidence that  [rural] districts                                                               
are able  to retain teachers.   The hope, he opined,  is that the                                                               
aforementioned will result in improved  student performance.  The                                                               
construction  of   the  teacher  housing  was   in  performed  in                                                               
partnership with  the Alaska Housing Finance  Corporation (AHFC).                                                               
With regard to health care [in  rural Alaska], the staff of rural                                                               
health clinics are  overworked and under paid.   "But health care                                                               
is a really good story, when  it's provided at the local level by                                                               
local  people," he  remarked.   He  then  directed attention  the                                                               
slide of  Buckland clinic, a  $6.6 million project  that included                                                               
funds  from  the following  entities:    Denali Commission,  U.S.                                                               
Department of Housing and Urban  Development (HUD), United States                                                               
Department  of  Agriculture  (USDA) Rural  Development,  Rasmuson                                                               
Foundation, City  of Sand Point, Aleutian  East Borough, Shumagin                                                               
Corporation,  and  the  Alaska  Mental  Health  Trust  Authority.                                                               
Having   all  these   partners   provides   more  certainty   and                                                               
sustainability of the  project.  Mr. Cannelos opined  that one of                                                               
the   Denali    Commission's   legacies   will    be   government                                                               
coordination,  [the   success  of  which]  he   credited  to  Bob                                                               
Pawlowski, the  legislature's liaison  to the  Denali Commission.                                                               
He then  shared a photo  of the MOU  group meeting, which  is all                                                               
state  commissioners and  most all  federal agency  heads.   This                                                               
group of people is very  interested in the opportunity to network                                                               
with  their  peers  and  this  concept  is  being  pursued.    He                                                               
expressed interest in  convening a meeting with  federal staff in                                                               
order to discuss the stimulus  package.  Mr. Cannelos highlighted                                                               
that  the Denali  Commission spends  a lot  of time  traveling to                                                               
rural  Alaska  and  pointed   out  that  government  coordination                                                               
requires  listening,  trust, and  respect.    He noted  that  Mr.                                                               
Pawlowski has represented the Denali  Commission on the Immediate                                                               
Action  Working  Group  (IAWG)  for Climate  Change.    The  IAWG                                                               
recommends  that   a  group  continue  to   carry  on  government                                                               
coordination  regarding  climate  change.   Although  the  Denali                                                               
Commission  isn't named  specifically, it's  willing to  dialogue                                                               
regarding  the Denali  Commission's  role in  that  matter.   The                                                               
Denali  Commission  commissioned  the  Institute  of  Social  and                                                               
Economic  Research (ISER)  study regarding  changing demographics                                                               
that  illustrate long-term  population decline  in rural  Alaska.                                                               
In closing,  Mr. Cannelos  stated, "Rural  Alaska is  an American                                                               
treasure.  The future is uncertain."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:26:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA,  recalling  her visits  to  rural  areas,                                                               
related  her observation  that many  rural  Alaska residents  are                                                               
really  in  denial.   The  communities  she visited  were  making                                                               
suggestions  to address  the  high fuel  prices.   For  instance,                                                               
there  was a  suggestion to  move health  clinics to  the schools                                                               
that have extra space.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. CANNELOS  said that  there are  many examples  of communities                                                               
that  have [made  suggestions regarding  high fuel  prices.   For                                                               
example,  in  Mekoryuk the  Denali  Commission  funded the  power                                                               
house and  clinic in  the old  downtown area.   In  the meantime,                                                               
there is  a school about five  miles away and an  airport another                                                               
five miles away.  Therefore, a  community that is 10 miles across                                                               
and thus  requires vehicles and fuel  to be a community  has been                                                               
created.  Stevens Village is an  example in which the $10 million                                                               
water and  sewer project was  denied because it amounted  to over                                                               
$250 per month per family  forever.  Therefore, community leaders                                                               
and agency representatives  decided not to move  forward with the                                                               
water and  sewer project.   Instead, a limited  system connecting                                                               
the  school  and  the  health clinic  has  been  constructed  and                                                               
village residents  will maintain  outhouses.   The aforementioned                                                               
decision requires honest  talk from all parties.   He related his                                                               
surprise with  the large atrium  at the Hooper Bay  School, which                                                               
he  opined  must  be  hard  to  heat.    He  then  expressed  his                                                               
understanding that  there are  no school  construction standards,                                                               
although they would be really important to have.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:31:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HERRON  mentioned  that  there  is  an  effort  in  the                                                               
legislature to  develop a prototype,  build schools based  on one                                                               
plan with  slight modifications.   He asked if Mr.  Cannelos will                                                               
be making presentations to other groups today.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CANNELOS reviewed the meetings  he has planned for this week.                                                               
In further  response, he  related that  the Denali  Commission is                                                               
meeting Wednesday and  Thursday at which it will  review its work                                                               
plan.   The  Denali Commission  has some  difficult decisions  to                                                               
make because the work plan  out for public comment was predicated                                                               
on a  continuing resolution of  level funding that  didn't occur.                                                               
Therefore,  the  Denali  Commission   will  have  to  tackle  the                                                               
decision as  to what to  do with the  limited base funding.   The                                                               
Denali  Commission will  also discuss  strategic planning  and an                                                               
internal working  document on roles  and responsibilities  at the                                                               
aforementioned meeting.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON  inquired as to  the legislature's role  with the                                                               
Denali Commission.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CANNELOS said  he would  like to  figure that  out.   He did                                                               
point out that in the  administration's budget there is about $28                                                               
million  in capital  projects that  compliment Denali  Commission                                                               
projects.  The  funding is in transportation,  health, and energy                                                               
and will go  to those agencies.  The aforementioned,  he said, is                                                               
a good path toward solidifying  a federal-state partnership while                                                               
sending a  message to Congress that  the state is engaging.   Mr.                                                               
Cannelos opined  that he would  like to determine how  to include                                                               
the legislature in the MOU  working group because the legislature                                                               
has the  pulse of the  districts, including in regard  to capital                                                               
projects.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:35:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HERRON asked  if the  Denali Commission  is the  agency                                                               
that holds the  database specifying where the  stimulus funds are                                                               
going.  If not, is there such an agency, he asked.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CANNELOS replied  no  to both.   He  added  that the  Denali                                                               
Commission  isn't named  in  the stimulus  per  se, although  the                                                               
Denali Commission  is looking  at opportunities  in which  it can                                                               
be.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:36:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON  inquired as to  the unintended  consequences Mr.                                                               
Cannelos, as a citizen, would fear with the stimulus package.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CANNELOS  said he  wasn't  sure  he  knew enough  about  the                                                               
stimulus  package.   However,  he  related  that when  there's  a                                                               
"pulse" [in funds] such as  that of the stimulus package, there's                                                               
a  risk   of  projects  being  less   than  ideally  coordinated.                                                               
Furthermore, such  situations stress the labor  community and the                                                               
construction community.  He opined  that there will be unintended                                                               
consequences with the stimulus package.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON  highlighted that the House  Special Committee on                                                               
Energy is  already doing  a lot  of good  work, and  therefore he                                                               
suggested  Mr. Cannelos  meet  with the  co-chairs  of the  House                                                               
Special Committee on Energy.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CANNELOS specified that he met with them yesterday.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:37:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA expressed concern  with the influences from                                                               
all  the different  governmental  and  philanthropic forces  that                                                               
change  the character  of a  community.   The existing  period of                                                               
time has  caused folks to  take pause.   She asked if  the Denali                                                               
Commission  will ensure  that there's  funding and  programs that                                                               
help  communities  ensure  that  whatever  it's  given  fits  the                                                               
community through good training.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CANNELOS  confirmed that the  aforementioned will be  part of                                                               
the  Denali Commission's  process.   He then  recalled "The  Gift                                                               
Givers"  by Harold  Sparks who  expressed that  communities don't                                                               
have to accept the gifts coming from outside of the community.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:40:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER, referring  to  the bulk  fuel and  power                                                               
system upgrade programs, inquired as  to how they are impacted by                                                               
the current focus  on renewable energy.  She then  inquired as to                                                               
how the suspended work figures tie into [renewable energy].                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CANNELOS explained  that  those lists  were  derived from  a                                                               
deficiency list  created eight  to nine years  ago by  the Alaska                                                               
Energy Authority  (AEA), AVEC, and  the Denali Commission.   This                                                               
year  it's time  to review  the list  and determine  where things                                                               
stand.  The renewable energy piece is  part of it in terms of the                                                               
notion of  doing no harm  such that  as new systems  are utilized                                                               
and  renewable opportunities  are  available in  the future,  not                                                               
much retrofitting  is required.  The  switching technology allows                                                               
that now.   The renewable  energy piece also  has to do  with the                                                               
size and scale  of the facility being  put in.  He  noted that he                                                               
recently signed a grant for  a power line intertie between Bethel                                                               
and  Napakiak.   Napakiak is  due for  a bulk  fuel upgrade,  and                                                               
therefore the goal  for AEA is to ensure that  the size and scale                                                               
makes  sense.   He  said  he  would have  to  get  back with  the                                                               
committee on the suspended work figures.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:41:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  asked  if   there  are  any  preliminary                                                               
results from  the "Distributing Alaska's Power"  study that could                                                               
be shared with the committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. CANNELOS related that the  study recognizes that no entity in                                                               
the state has oversight on  power line interties.  Therefore, the                                                               
recommendation, as  part of  the broad  energy strategy,  is that                                                               
the  aforementioned  be  taken into  consideration.    The  study                                                               
concluded, he  related, that  interties bring  a lot  of positive                                                               
benefits despite the permitting and other processes.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:43:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:43 a.m. to 8:46 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:46:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 161-CERTIFICATES OF PARTICIPATION FOR SUBPORT                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
8:46:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON announced  that the next order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO.  161, "An  Act relating  to the  Alaska Mental                                                               
Health Trust  Authority Subport Office Building;  authorizing the                                                               
issuance  of certificates  of participation  for construction  of                                                               
the building  and authorizing the  use of up to  $25,000,000 from                                                               
the mental  health trust fund  for construction of  the building;                                                               
approving  leases  of  all  or   part  of  the  building  by  the                                                               
Department  of Administration;  and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:46:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MUNOZ, speaking  as  the sponsor  of  HB 161,  welcomed                                                               
those who are present to testify today.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:47:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN BROOKS,  Deputy Commissioner, Department  of Administration                                                               
(DOA), pointed  out that  the committee  packet should  include a                                                               
letter and answers  to questions from Representative  Millet.  He                                                               
also  pointed  out that  attachment  3  entitled "Briefing  Paper                                                               
AMHTA  Subport   Office  Building"  addresses  many   of  the  12                                                               
questions from Representative Millet.   Mr. Brooks explained that                                                               
DOA approached  The Alaska  Mental Health  Trust ("The  Trust") a                                                               
year  or so  ago regarding  possible  space due  to the  upcoming                                                               
sunset  of  the Department  of  Labor  & Workforce  Development's                                                               
(DLWD)  lease of  the current  aging facility.   Absent  progress                                                               
with The  Trust by July 2009  a Request for Proposals  (RFP) will                                                               
have to be  put out to procure new space.   Mr. Brooks emphasized                                                               
that new  space in the amount  of 68,000 square feet  needs to be                                                               
procured and  be moved into by  July 2012.  Currently,  the state                                                               
is paying  $2.33 a square  foot for  the DLWD building,  which is                                                               
reflective of the condition of the  building.  With regard to the                                                               
backup on the  lease, DLWD has been a tenant  of the building for                                                               
27 years and the thick  files are available to anyone interested.                                                               
He mentioned  that the water  intrusions, mold, and  necessity to                                                               
move staff from  the building are a matter of  record.  Mr. Banks                                                               
acknowledged that the costs for a  new building will be more than                                                               
the  current costs  for  the existing  aging  facility.   Current                                                               
estimates  of the  market in  Juneau  for the  downtown core  are                                                               
$3.80-$4.00 range.   He noted that  The Trust has been  told that                                                               
any facility has  to be competitive with the market  and the best                                                               
deal for  the state will  be sought.   The Trust, he  opined, has                                                               
developed  a  plan  and  financing   mechanism  that  make  their                                                               
proposal competitive.   The Trust,  he further opined, is  a good                                                               
partner because it holds land  in the downtown corridor and holds                                                               
cash in the amount of $22.7 million  in its fund.  The Trust will                                                               
borrow  the remainder.   The  documents in  the committee  packet                                                               
relate various  scenarios, including repaying the  bonds after 20                                                               
years  at  which  point  there  would  be  a  fairly  significant                                                               
reduction  in  the state's  lease  obligations  because the  debt                                                               
would be  retired and the state  would deal with only  the return                                                               
on the  equity for The Trust.   He noted that  the aforementioned                                                               
isn't dissimilar  from other lease arrangements  the state holds.                                                               
He then informed  the committee that DOA's  analysis is performed                                                               
over 30  years, specifically  a 20-year initial  term with  2 10-                                                               
year renewals.   If the state  stays in the lease  and renews for                                                               
the  second  10-year  period,  the lease  would  look  even  more                                                               
favorable in terms of a cost benefit analysis.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANKS  reminded the  committee that  the DLWD  building alone                                                               
wasn't  a  large  enough  project  for The  Trust  to  build  the                                                               
facility.    A  larger  footprint was  necessary,  and  thus  the                                                               
Douglas Island building that houses  the regional offices for the                                                               
Alaska Department  of Fish &  Game (ADF&G) and the  Department of                                                               
Corrections as well  as the Department of  Public Safety building                                                               
was  included.   The aforementioned  buildings are  older and  in                                                               
such  disrepair that  a fairly  significant  investment would  be                                                               
required.   The  cost analysis  includes what  DOA charges  state                                                               
agencies,  which  is  about  $1.30   per  square  foot,  and  the                                                               
currently identified deferred maintenance.   Although some of the                                                               
needs  of  these  older  buildings   are  known,  there  isn't  a                                                               
comprehensive  list of  everything that's  wrong.   For instance,                                                               
there is  knowledge that the  DPS building  needs a new  roof and                                                               
the  ADF&G  building  needs  a  new  envelope.    Therefore,  the                                                               
analysis doesn't include additional  costs that would be required                                                               
in order  to bring the buildings  up to a tenantable  position or                                                               
to replace them.   The aforementioned are  anticipated costs, but                                                               
they're  not  included   in  the  analysis  in   order  to  avoid                                                               
inappropriately padding the numbers.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:56:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON directed focus on  question number 10:  "Does the                                                               
Governor support HB 161?"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BROOKS  explained  that  the   governor's  office  has  been                                                               
provided the  same analysis as  the committee.   Ultimately, [the                                                               
governor's  office] has  expressed the  need for  the project  to                                                               
pencil out.   Therefore,  the governor  is likely  reviewing this                                                               
proposed project  in terms  of needs throughout  the state.   Mr.                                                               
Brooks  said that  any project  the  state undertakes  has to  be                                                               
fiscally sound.   He related that DOA will  continue working with                                                               
the governor's office  and hopes to return to  the committee with                                                               
a more  definitive position.   He then related  his understanding                                                               
that the  sponsor of  the legislation has  had a  discussion with                                                               
the governor  regarding this  proposal.   In further  response to                                                               
Co-Chair Herron,  Mr. Brooks confirmed  that DOA's  comfort level                                                               
is fairly good.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ confirmed that she  met with the governor, who she                                                               
said likes  the project.   However, the governor wants  to ensure                                                               
that the project  makes financial sense for the  state.  Co-Chair                                                               
Munoz opined that the proposed new  facility is a better deal for                                                               
the  state when  compared to  the  existing lease  costs and  the                                                               
costs  to  upgrade  existing infrastructure.    Furthermore,  The                                                               
Trust  will have  great benefit  over  the long-term  as it  will                                                               
receive  a  steady  revenue  stream   to  support  mental  health                                                               
programs.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:00:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT pointed  out  that in  the memorandum  of                                                               
agreement (MOA)  there's no  talk of  cost overruns.   Therefore,                                                               
she questioned whether the state  has planned any contingency for                                                               
cost  overruns.   She further  questioned  whether cost  overruns                                                               
would impact the lease.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROOKS remarked that the MOA  was entered into as a manner in                                                               
which to work  collaboratively toward a solution.   He noted that                                                               
there's a contingency built into  construction, which he recalled                                                               
was 20  percent of the  total construction  cost.  The  Trust, he                                                               
opined, is  bearing some  risk to  make the  project competitive,                                                               
which is reflected in The Trust's  rate of return.  He noted that                                                               
there are  some variables,  including the rate  on bonds  for the                                                               
portion being  financed.  The  responsible steps expected  with a                                                               
project   of  this   magnitude   have  been   built  in   through                                                               
contingencies and other factors.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:02:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT  inquired  as  to  what  occurs  if  cost                                                               
overruns are in excess of 20 percent.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROOKS deferred to representatives  from The Trust.  However,                                                               
he opined  that The Trust  is taking a  risk and the  state isn't                                                               
subject  to any  cost overrun  that  would drive  the lease  rate                                                               
beyond the market rate of $3.80-$4 being discussed.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:03:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HARRY NOAH, Executive Director,  Trust Land Office, Alaska Mental                                                               
Health Trust,  related his understanding  that when the  lease is                                                               
signed, cost overruns  would be the responsibility  of The Trust.                                                               
He explained that  The Trust has estimated the project  at a high                                                               
point in  terms of cost,  with a fairly  significant contingency.                                                               
He  informed the  committee that  The Trust  has some  additional                                                               
work  that's   necessary  in  terms  of   geotechnical  work  and                                                               
information  regarding  foundation  characteristics.   The  Trust                                                               
will also perform additional work  on the design of the building.                                                               
Mr. Noah said that often  with state buildings, the [costs] reach                                                               
the  budget and  the size  of the  building is  decreased [in  an                                                               
effort to not have cost  overruns].  However, with this proposal,                                                               
The Trust will lease a specific amount of space.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:05:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. NOAH  related that  he is  in favor  of HB  161 as  there are                                                               
benefits to  The Trust, the  state, and  Juneau.  He  opined that                                                               
it's unusual  that the  aforementioned would  occur at  one time,                                                               
which he attributed to various  factors occurring at once.  Those                                                               
factors  include  the demolition  of  the  subport building,  The                                                               
Trust wanting to develop its  waterfront parcel, and DLWD's lease                                                               
becoming available.   He said he hoped the  committee can support                                                               
[HB 161].                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:06:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  asked  if   The  Trust  anticipates  any                                                               
problems with  regard to  zoning and variances  from the  City of                                                               
Juneau.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. NOAH  related that last  night the  City & Borough  of Juneau                                                               
Assembly  unanimously  passed  the  zone  change.    However,  he                                                               
anticipated that once the process  reaches the variance stage, it                                                               
will certainly elicit comments.  In  terms of the location of the                                                               
parking, he characterized it as  a calculated move.  He explained                                                               
that  building  the  parking  garage added  $20  million  to  the                                                               
process  without any  revenue,  and therefore  that  cost to  the                                                               
state would  be too high  as part of  this agreement.   The Trust                                                               
didn't want to use  the land for parking, but did  so in order to                                                               
allow an  agreement to  be made.   The aforementioned  places the                                                               
land in  a holding position  and the intent  is for The  Trust to                                                               
take over the DPS building  and ultimately build a parking garage                                                               
on that property.   At some point, something will  come along and                                                               
allow that property  to be developed and push the  parking to the                                                               
parking garage, he said.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:09:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MUNOZ  commented  that  the location  of  the  proposed                                                               
building will  cause more use  of that portion of  the waterfront                                                               
once the building is constructed.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:09:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NOAH,  in  response  to Representative  Millet,  offered  to                                                               
provide the committee  with a copy of The  Trust's cost estimate.                                                               
Construction  is scheduled  to begin  in  2010, he  related.   He                                                               
further  related  that eight  months  ago  The Trust  engaged  an                                                               
architectural firm  in Juneau and  has done  quite a bit  of work                                                               
including  cost  estimates of  the  building.   Furthermore,  The                                                               
Trust has already  started the process of  obtaining a Department                                                               
of Transportation  & Public  Facilities (DOT&PF)  project manager                                                               
and  is in  the  process  of developing  a  design-build type  of                                                               
contract in case this legislation  passes.  He offered to provide                                                               
the committee with the work that has been done to date.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:11:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROOKS, in response to  Representative Millet, clarified that                                                               
the  DLWD  building is  a  leased  facility whereas  the  Douglas                                                               
Island building  that houses ADF&G and  Department of Corrections                                                               
and the Department  of Public Safety (DPS) building  are owned by                                                               
the state.   The DPS building  is potentially a site  of a future                                                               
parking garage.  He noted that  at a minimum those two facilities                                                               
would be  moth-balled or be  used in  another fashion.   Once the                                                               
proposed facility  seems to  be moving  forward, the  state would                                                               
earnestly try  to determine an  alternate use for  the buildings.                                                               
In the most extreme case, the buildings could be leveled.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:13:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON, upon determining no  one else wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:14:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MUNOZ moved  to report  CSHB 161,  Version 26-LS0605\T,                                                               
Cook, 3/11/09,  out of committee with  individual recommendations                                                               
and the  accompanying fiscal  notes.   There being  no objection,                                                               
CSHB 161(CRA) was reported from  the House Community and Regional                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
HB 150-POWER COST EQUALIZATION                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
9:14:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON announced  that the next order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  150, "An  Act  repealing certain  provisions                                                               
relating to  modifying the  factors that  apply to  calculate the                                                               
amount  of power  cost equalization;  providing for  an effective                                                               
date by  repealing the  effective date  of sec.  3, ch.  2, 4SSLA                                                               
2008; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:15:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB CHARLES,  Energy Coordinator, Association of  Village Council                                                               
Presidents,  noted  that he  provided  written  testimony to  the                                                               
committee  entitled "AVCP  Calista  Region's Energy  Costs."   He                                                               
informed  the committee  that  the  Calista region's  residential                                                               
heating oil and regular gasoline  prices have increased well over                                                               
100 percent  in the  last couple  of years.   In fact,  when home                                                               
heating fuel  was delivered in the  spring of 2008, the  cost had                                                               
risen to  $8.00 a gallon.   He pointed  out that he  provided the                                                               
committee  with a  table specifying  fuel  prices at  the end  of                                                               
February ranging  from $6.00-$8.00  per gallon.   As  2009 began,                                                               
electric utility rates  in the region were between  $.53 and $.65                                                               
per  kilowatt hour  (kWh).   Electric  bills in  the region  have                                                               
averaged  $342-$360 per  month prior  to power  cost equalization                                                               
(PCE).   With PCE,  the electric rates  are around  $.33-$.44 per                                                               
kWh and  the billings amount to  $176 to $200.   Usage has ranged                                                               
from  530  kWh   to  750  kWh  per  household.     Local  utility                                                               
administrators  have observed  that a  number of  households have                                                               
much lower  usages, in the  range of 200 kWh  to 400 kWh  and the                                                               
billings ranging from $120-$150 per  month.  The increases in the                                                               
rates  are  reflective of  the  higher  delivered fuel  costs  in                                                               
recent years,  he said.   The PCE  program has been  paramount in                                                               
helping  to   make  electric  rates  affordable.     He  recalled                                                               
testimony at a  prior hearing that Newtok had one  of the highest                                                               
rates prior to PCE with billings  around $150-$400.  The usage in                                                               
Newtok ranges from  300-400 kWh [per month].   Mr. Charles opined                                                               
that energy  costs account for  a large portion of  a household's                                                               
disposable  income, with  it  amounting to  60-70  percent.   The                                                               
aforementioned can primarily be attributed  to the price hikes in                                                               
the energy  costs.   Any further increases  in electric  rates or                                                               
fuel  costs   will  result  in  fuel   and  electricity  becoming                                                               
unaffordable.   He related that  recent energy  studies conducted                                                               
by Nuvista  Light and Power  2002 and 2004 have  illustrated that                                                               
lower income residents devote larger  amounts of their disposable                                                               
income to energy and use less.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CHARLES then  related  that the  unemployment  rates in  the                                                               
Bethel  and Wade  Hampton census  districts currently  range from                                                               
16.6-22.8.  However,  the jobless rate is a  more significant and                                                               
relevant indicator of  the economic condition in the  region.  In                                                               
the Bethel  and Wade Hampton  districts the jobless rate  is 38.5                                                               
percent and  43.3 percent,  respectively.   The median  income in                                                               
the Bethel census district is  about $45,200, which amounts to an                                                               
average  monthly income  of about  $2,700.   In the  Wade Hampton                                                               
census  district  the  median  income  is  about  $36,600,  which                                                               
amounts to  an average  monthly income in  the amount  of $1,750.                                                               
He  then noted  that  the  fish income  in  the [Kuskokwim]  area                                                               
doesn't provide much income for the  year.  In the Kuskokwim area                                                               
about 500,000  salmon were  caught, which  amounts to  about $1.5                                                               
million  and about  $3,200 per  permit holder.   He  reminded the                                                               
committee that  in 2007 there  wasn't much  of a fishery,  save a                                                               
couple of coho  fishing periods that provided  about $300,000 for                                                               
the entire  region.   The Yukon  didn't have  a summer  chum king                                                               
salmon  fishery, but  did  have  a fall  chum  coho fishery  that                                                               
caught 312,513 salmon by 444  permit holders.  The aforementioned                                                               
totaled about  $1.4 million  and broke down  to about  $3,000 per                                                               
permit  holder.   Comparing the  aforementioned  income to  fuel,                                                               
electric, and  food costs, one  can see that lower  income people                                                               
can't afford  many groceries  and have  to use  less energy.   He                                                               
opined that this is an  indicator that populations throughout the                                                               
region   are  very   vulnerable  to   increasing  energy   costs.                                                               
Moreover,  the region's  economy  is fragile  and susceptible  to                                                               
further  increases  to fuel  and  electric  rates.   Mr.  Charles                                                               
concluded by  relating support for  HB 150,  specifically keeping                                                               
the eligible cost rate at $1 and continuing the PCE program.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:24:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIN  HARRINGTON, Staff,  Representative  Alan Austerman,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature, speaking  on behalf of the sponsor  of HB 150,                                                               
explained that the  purpose of HB 150 is to  perpetuate the $1.00                                                               
ceiling in order to reflect the  true cost of power generation in                                                               
Alaska.  With  the continuation of the ceiling,  the program will                                                               
continue  to  reflect  the  true costs  of  power  generation  in                                                               
Alaska.    By keeping  the  ceiling  at  $1.00, the  state  isn't                                                               
obligated  to  anything  during   times  of  low  energy  prices.                                                               
However, when prices  are high, the $1.00  ceiling provides power                                                               
cost  equity for  rural  communities that  haven't  been able  to                                                               
benefit  from  the  long-term  investments  in  power  generation                                                               
infrastructure in certain areas of the state.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:26:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER inquired  as to how much  power an average                                                               
household uses in rural Alaska as compared to urban Alaska.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARRINGTON explained  that PCE covers the first 500  kWh in a                                                               
residential area.   Typical power usage in rural  areas is around                                                               
500 kWh  per household,  but it's  a bit  higher for  urban areas                                                               
where the electrical usage is closer to 700 kWh.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:27:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON, upon determining no  one else wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:27:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MUNOZ moved  to report  HB  150 out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
HB 156-ALLOWING CERTAIN LANDFILL FEE WAIVERS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
9:27:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL NO.  156,  "An  Act  relating to  municipal  fees                                                               
charged  for  disposal of  waste  material  from the  substantial                                                               
rehabilitation, renovation,  demolition, removal,  or replacement                                                               
of a structure on deteriorated property."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:27:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BOB  LYNN, Alaska  State Legislature,  speaking as                                                               
the sponsor  of HB  161, explained  that the  legislation permits                                                               
municipalities to waive dumping  fees, tipping fees, for material                                                               
taken to  municipal landfills from deteriorated  properties.  The                                                               
aforementioned doesn't cost the  state anything.  Furthermore, it                                                               
can  make  it  economically feasible  to  renovate  deteriorating                                                               
properties.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:30:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHRYN DODGE,  Economic Development Specialist,  Fairbanks North                                                               
Star Borough; Director,  Alaska Regional Development Organization                                                               
(ARDOR), said that she was  sure that each legislator could think                                                               
of a  deteriorated property  in their  community that  they would                                                               
desire to be redeveloped.  She  said she was equally certain that                                                               
legislators recognize the value  of renovating and rehabilitating                                                               
the deteriorated property.   Ms. Dodge pointed  out that adoption                                                               
of this  change requires assembly approval,  and therefore public                                                               
comment  will  be taken  on  the  value  of granting  waivers  to                                                               
deteriorated properties,  presumably for each  waiver considered.                                                               
Therefore, Ms. Dodge encouraged the committee to support HB 156.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:31:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK MARLOW,  Principal, Marlow Corporation,  opined that  HB 156                                                               
would  provide  local governments  another  tool  with regard  to                                                               
economic development and urban renewal.   Every property eligible                                                               
would have to  go through a local public process  per AS 29.45 to                                                               
identify  and determine  which  properties  meet the  eligibility                                                               
requirements  to be  designated as  deteriorated.   He encouraged                                                               
the committee's favorable vote for HB 156.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:32:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON inquired as to why HB 156 is necessary.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MARLOW  related  his  understanding   that  without  HB  156                                                               
extending  the waiver  to a  property designated  as deteriorated                                                               
may  raise a  constitutional  challenge with  regard  to a  local                                                               
government's  ability  to  extend  the  benefit  to  address  the                                                               
mitigation of blight  based on an equal protection  clause.  This                                                               
legislation defines deteriorated property  as a class of property                                                               
rather than an individual project  and provides local governments                                                               
that own  a landfill the  authority to extend  the aforementioned                                                               
benefit  to  help with  economic  development  and mitigation  of                                                               
blight.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:34:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HERRON   posed  an  example   in  which  there   was  a                                                               
deteriorated 1,200 square feet home,  and inquired as to how much                                                               
money that would be.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. MARLOW  pointed out that  a small  home of 1,200  square feet                                                               
wouldn't meet  the eligibility requirements  of AS 29.45.   To be                                                               
considered deteriorated  the building would  have to be  at least                                                               
an 8-plex,  at least 15 years  of age, or a  commercial property,                                                               
he recalled.   He explained that  the actual amount of  money [in                                                               
terms of  waived tipping fees]  would depend largely on  the size                                                               
of the property because tipping fees are a function of weight.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:35:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN, in  closing, characterized  HB 156  as good                                                               
public  policy,  and  therefore   he  requested  the  committee's                                                               
favorable consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:35:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON, upon determining no  one else wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:36:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  moved to  report HB  156 out  of committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and  the accompanying zero fiscal                                                               
note.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:36:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Community  and Regional  Affairs Standing  Committee meeting  was                                                               
adjourned at 9:36 a.m.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 150 - PCE One-Pager (3.12.09).doc HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 150
Denali Commission Update - CRA 3-13-09.pdf HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
Denali Commission
HB 150 Sectional Analysis.doc HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB150 - SB4002Z.PDF HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 150
SB4002
HB 156 Background Part 2 Support Letters.pdf HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 156
HB 156 Sectional Summary.pdf HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 156
HB 156 Sponsor Statement (2).docx.doc HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 156
HB 150 Sponsor Statement.doc HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB 161 legal memo.PDF HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 161
HB 161 sponsor statement.PDF HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 161
HB 150 Testimony Packet II.PDF HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB 150 Bob Charles AVCP testimony.PDF HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB150-CCED PCE Overview .pdf HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB150-CED-AEA(Fund Cap) 03-06-09.pdf HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB150-CED-AEA-03-06-09.pdf HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB150TestimonyPacket.PDF HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB156 Background Part 1 FNSB Ordinance.pdf HCRA 3/12/2009 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 156
HB156-Fiscal Note-CED-RCA-03-16-09.pdf HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 156
HB161 Dept. Admin Briefing Paper.pdf HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 161
HB161CS(CRA)-DNR-TLO-03-16-09.pdf HCRA 3/17/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 161