Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/04/1994 03:40 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                   SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                  
                        February 4, 1994                                       
                           3:40 P.M.                                           
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Mike Miller, Chairman                                                 
 Senator Loren Leman, Vice Chairman                                            
 Senator Steve Frank                                                           
 Senator Drue Pearce                                                           
 Senator Al Adams                                                              
 Senator Fred Zharoff                                                          
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Dave Donley                                                           
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 210                                                           
 "An Act relating to disposal of state land within five miles of the           
 right-of-way of the Dalton Highway to a licensed public utility or            
 a licensed common carrier."                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 240                                                           
 "An Act relating to an optional municipal tax credit for costs of             
 certain river habitat protection improvements."                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 202                                                           
 "An Act relating to the removal, appropriation, and purchase of               
 state water by municipalities; and providing for an effective                 
 date."                                                                        
                                                                               
 SCHEDULED, BUT NOT HEARD THIS DAY                                             
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
                                                                               
   SB 210 - No previous action to record.                                      
                                                                               
 SB 240 - See Resources minutes dated 2/4/94.                                  
                                                                               
 SB 202 - See Community & Regional Affairs minutes dated                       
      1/13/94, 1/20/94.                                                        
                                                                               
    WITNESS REGISTER                                                           
                                                                               
 Senator Sharp                                                                 
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Ak. 99801-1182                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Sponsor of the CS to SB 210.                           
                                                                               
 Rick Smith, Manager                                                           
 Northern Regional Office                                                      
 Department of Natural Resources                                               
 3700 Airport Way                                                              
 Fairbanks, Ak. 99709-4699                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 210.                                      
                                                                               
 Judy Stoop                                                                    
 Summit Telephone                                                              
 2014 Eagan Ave.                                                               
 Fairbanks, Ak. 99701                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 210.                                      
                                                                               
 Mick Manns                                                                    
 Paradise Valley                                                               
 Bettles, Ak. 99726                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 210.                                      
                                                                               
 Dave Lacey                                                                    
 P.O. Box 71372                                                                
 Fairbanks, Ak. 99707                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed SB 210.                                        
                                                                               
 Earl Finkler                                                                  
 City of Barrow                                                                
 Box 629                                                                       
 Barrow, Ak. 99723                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 210.                                   
                                                                               
 Gerald Gallagher, Director                                                    
 Division of Mining                                                            
 Department of Natural Resources                                               
 P.O. Box 107016                                                               
 Anchorage, Ak. 99510-7016                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported and commented on SB 210.                     
                                                                               
 Representative Gene Therriault                                                
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Ak. 99801-1182                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 210.                                      
                                                                               
 Leo Oberts                                                                    
 1440 Chinook Ct.                                                              
 Kenai, Ak. 9961                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 210.                                   
                                                                               
 Don Gilman                                                                    
 Kenai Peninsula Borough                                                       
 144 N. Binkley                                                                
 Soldotna, Ak. 99669                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 210.                                      
                                                                               
 Jim Richardson                                                                
 308 G Street                                                                  
 Anchorage, Ak.  99501                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported and commented on SB 210.                     
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-5, SIDE A                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 001                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN MILLER called the Resources Committee meeting to order at            
 3:10 p.m. and announced  SB 210  (DISPOSAL OF DALTON HWY RIGHT-OF-WAY    AY   
 LAND) to be up for consideration.                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR SHARP explained the proposed CS to SB 210.  Under current             
 statute the state is prohibited from disposing of or leasing state            
 land within five miles of the right-of-way of the Dalton Highway.             
 He said total prohibition seems harsh since they have received                
 testimony saying we need better communications up there.                      
                                                                               
 Number 75                                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS asked if he preferred lease or sale of the property.            
 SENATOR SHARP said he had no preference as long as the lease would            
 be long enough to allow amortization of the type of facility that             
 would be considered on utilities.                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS said he agreed with that, but his real concern is               
 lease/owning around the Dalton Highway because of the environment             
 and subsistence migration.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 94                                                                     
                                                                               
 RICK SMITH, Department of Natural Resources, said they support SB
 210, because they have had difficulties because of the                        
 prohibitions.  DOT has applied for material for upgrading the Dead-           
 Horse airport that they are prohibited from issuing.  They have had           
 indications from Coldfoot Services that they would like to expand             
 their lease to provide additional telephone services, among others.           
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS said the North Slope Borough did not have a position            
 on this issue, yet, and asked how much land they were talking about           
 and what is the market value of it.  MR. SMITH said he didn't know            
 the acreage.  He said the state, a year ago, received and                     
 additional 615,000 acres from the federal government along the                
 Dalton Highway.  No market value has been done on that.  The                  
 present fiscal note is $0, because they don't think it would                  
 substantially impact their operations at the time.                            
                                                                               
 Number 130                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK asked if they were bound by some fair market value              
 requirement in law?  MR. SMITH answered they had that requirement             
 when they process a lease.                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS clarified his comment earlier stating he wanted a               
 positive fiscal note if they were going to lease or sell land.                
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked him to describe in more detail the federal land           
 the state received recently along the Dalton Highway.  MR. SMITH              
 said the land consisted of approximately 10 miles south of the                
 Yukon River Crossing, the development at Coldfoot and Happy Valley,           
 and a fairly large block of land located on the federal land north            
 of Happy Valley, which went east/west.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 155                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS asked how this would affect the portion of the                  
 Highway that is not open to the public.  MR. SMITH answered that              
 this legislation would not have any affect other than allowing                
 telephone service at Coldfoot.  If the Dalton Highway was every               
 opened to the public, it would provide opportunity to supply                  
 service the public would need.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 187                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ZHAROFF asked what was the length of the Dalton Highway.              
 SENATOR FRANK said it was about 430 miles.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 203                                                                    
                                                                               
 JUDY STOOP, Summit Telephone Co, Fairbanks, said they support SB
 210, because they need it for efficient communications, especially            
 at Coldfoot and Wiseman.  They feel, as much as possible, that land           
 should not be held by the state, but be available for purchase by             
 the people of Alaska.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 217                                                                    
                                                                               
 MICK MANNS, Paradise Valley, Bettles, supported SB 210, because of            
 all the reasons listed.  Also, he said it is unconstitutional and             
 illegal to keep the road closed according to the Statehood Act.  He           
 said the Dalton Highway would have to be developed if we were to be           
 competitive with other Pacific Rim nations and tourism.                       
                                                                               
 Number 241                                                                    
                                                                               
 DAVE LACEY, Manager, Yukon River Tours, Fairbanks, said he is                 
 involved in eco-tourism along the Dalton Highway.  He opposed SB
 210, because his clients want to see wilderness and undeveloped               
 areas.  They can see development anywhere in the lower 48.  Tourism           
 as an industry needs to protect what people come up here to see.              
                                                                               
 Number 273                                                                    
 EARL FINKLER, City of Barrow, recalled that the original purpose of           
 the prohibition was to protect the transportation and industrial              
 functions of the corridor.  He asked if there had been any study of           
 how this would impact the future needs.  He asked if there was a              
 land use plan for the areas under question.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 288                                                                    
                                                                               
 JERRY GALLAGHER, Department of Natural Resources, said this is a              
 very limited piece of legislation authorizing only the Department             
 to issue long term leases in some very specific and few development           
 nodes that are already identified and have existing facilities  -             
 Coldfoot, Happy Valley, Franklin Bluffs, Yukon Crossing, and Dead             
 Horse.  He explained that their leases will soon expire.                      
                                                                               
 Number 327                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT supported the proposed CS to SB 210.  He            
 thought there was some misunderstanding as to the intent.  He                 
 supported Mr. Gallagher's testimony.  The needs and areas are                 
 addressed very specifically and these activities are already going            
 on along the road.  Construction material can already be taken from           
 the 5 mile corridor for maintenance of the road, but not for the              
 airports.  In addition, when many of the federal leases that have             
 been taken over by the state expire, the state has no authority to            
 reissue them without a change in statute.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 327                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved to adopt the CS to SB 210(RES) (8-LS1110/E                
 Luckhaupt).  There were no objections and it was so ordered.                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved to discharge CSSB 210 (RES) with individual               
 recommendations.  There were objections and Senator Miller asked              
 for a roll call vote: Senator Miller, Senator Leman, Senator Frank,           
 and Senator Pearce voted yes; Senator Adams and Senator Zharoff               
 voted no and CSSB 210 (RES) passed.                                           
 SENATOR MILLER announced  SB 240  (MUNICIPAL TAX CREDIT/HABITAT               
 PROTECTION) to be up for consideration.                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR PEARCE, Sponsor, said there is 80 - 90 acres along the                
 Kenai River that provide the habitat for the salmon fishery.  She             
 hoped to encourage people who owned private land along the Kenai to           
 undertake stream rehabilitation with property tax credit                      
 incentives.                                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS noted that this could just be special interest                  
 legislation directed only at the Kenai River and asked if the Chena           
 River and other areas could be included.                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR PEARCE said Tam Cook believed the bill to be                          
 constitutional.                                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if any other municipality had expressed                   
 interest in this type of credit.  SENATOR PEARCE answered not to              
 her.                                                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR ZHAROFF said he has a policy of staying out of other                  
 district's business and he thought it seemed unusual to have a                
 piece of legislation that affects one area of the state.                      
                                                                               
 Number 472                                                                    
                                                                               
 LEO OBERTS, Kenai, said keeping the river in its natural test is              
 the highest and best use for the river when setting the value.                
                                                                               
 He said this refers to the lower tidal area which is completely               
 different from other areas of the river.  He questioned using the             
 "ordinary high water" language.  SENATOR PEARCE said this language            
 was provided by the Borough attorney.                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE commented that this bill currently involves not only           
 the Kenai River, but all of the tributaries.  She was concerned               
 that it was very far reaching.                                                
                                                                               
 MR. OBERTS pointed out on page 17 that he didn't know what an                 
 "untitled river" meant.                                                       
                                                                               
 DON GILMAN supported Senator Pearce's comments.  He said the                  
 municipalities need this legislation to help deal with problems               
 along the river.                                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR ZHAROFF commented on the definition of "ordinary high water           
 line."  He asked what kinds of activities would allow for the tax             
 credit to be used.  MR. GILMAN said they are for improvements along           
 the river.  Right now nothing is required above high water.                   
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-5, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 580                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR ZHAROFF asked if the activity would take place within or             
 beyond 150 feet.  MR. GILMAN said it was within 150 feet.                     
                                                                               
 Number 573                                                                    
                                                                               
 JIM RICHARDSON, property owner on the Kenai River, supported SB
 240.  He hoped that tax incentives would be allowed for people who            
 leave the land in its natural state as well as for those who build            
 some beneficial project.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER thanked everyone for their testimony and adjourned             
 the meeting at 4:32 p.m.                                                      
                                                                               

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