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City officials talk geothermal, Captains Bay Road at annual legislative lobby trip

Maggie Nelson

Unalaska City officials were in Juneau March 3-6 for their annual lobbying trip, where they presented some of their ongoing priorities to the Alaska Legislature.

Ounalashka Corp. CEO Natalie Cale, City Councilmember and Vice Mayor Alejandro “Bong” Tungul, Mayor Vince Tutiakoff Sr., and City Manager Bil Homka were among those who attended the trip.

Homka said the Makushin Geothermal Project was top-of-mind during discussions, as the trip came on the heels of the city’s decision to not renew their power purchase agreement with Ounalashka Corp./Chena Power, or OCCP, the company behind the latest push for geothermal. Homka said legislators remain excited about the project, which he described as a great opportunity for the community even after talks with OCCP fell through.

Homka said a high point of the lobbying trip was learning that the Captains Bay Road project may receive funding from the Alaska Department of Transportation. He attributes this to having state legislators visit the site. The project would extend water delivery, utilities and pavement on a long, gravel road that leads to a number of industrial sites, including the anticipated site of Trident Seafoods’ new processing plant.

Born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Andy Lusk is a writer, travel enthusiast and seafood aficionado who won the jackpot by landing in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. When he's not hiking or working on his latest story, you can find him curled up with his cats and a good book. Andy is a Report for America corps member and an alumnus of New York University.
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