DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES

Berett Wilber/KUCB

The Unalaska City Council still hasn't decided whether to increase utility rates. That's despite several meetings and many hours of discussion and presentations on the challenges of rising costs and the question over who should pay.

KUCB Staff

 

Nearly all of Unalaska lost power for over an hour on Monday evening. 

The outage left everyone on the city's grid, except for those on Standard Oil Hill, without electricity, according to Public Utilities Director Dan Winters. 

KUCB Staff

 

A number of recent unplanned power outages in Unalaska were caused by an electronic governor — located on one of the city's diesel engines — that needs retuning, according to city officials.

Public Utilities Director Dan Winters said at a City Council meeting Tuesday night that what's supposed to happen is that when the engine is shutting down it comes down automatically, at about 1000 kilowatts and then it will open the breaker. But it's currently shutting down at more than twice that amount — at about 2500 kilowatts — and kicking the breaker.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

More than half of the City of Unalaska's tsunami sirens aren't functioning, according to city officials.

The city tested its tsunami sirens, which were purchased in 1996, on Wednesday. Three out of seven worked. 

Following a number of earthquakes near Makushin Volcano earlier in the week — which prompted the Alaska Volcano Observatory to increase the volcano's alert level to "advisory" — local concern about Unalaska's emergency preparedness has been elevated.

KUCB Staff

The City of Unalaska has begun installing new utility readers at local homes.

The roughly $400,000 system upgrade will allow the Department of Public Utilities to monitor electricity consumption without visiting customers' houses.

The automatic meters will also improve the billing process, according to Public Utilities Director Dan Winters.

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