Press Releases and Public Service Announcements

Winter Road Safety Alert: Exercise Caution with Upcoming Wind Gusts and Snowy Conditions
2/26/2024

According to the National Weather Service, reports indicate a winter storm watch in effect beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 27 until 12:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 28. Heavy snow with accumulations of 6 to 12 inches is possible and winds could gust up to 45 mph are expected.

Please be advised to exercise caution on the roads and sidewalks to ensure a safe and secure commute in the upcoming weather. We urge you to take necessary precautions such as preparing for longer driving times and planning your route, reducing your driving speed, increasing your following distance, braking gently to maintain control, and watching for heavy equipment on the road. 

As a reminder, please keep sidewalks clear, observe parking restrictions, ensure that private drain systems do not get plugged, be mindful of where you pile snow and observe the 3-foot clearance from drains and hydrants, and keep children out of berms and away from the roadway. 


Harbor Users are Reminded to Check on Vessels with Snow and High Gusts in Forecast
2/26/2024

Harbor users are reminded to take proactive measures to remove snow from vessels, make sure scuppers are clear, and secure vessels and loose objects that could be susceptible to powerful winds. If you own a vessel or are responsible for one in the harbor, it’s crucial to ensure that your boat is clear of snow and securely moored. The accumulation of snow and ice can reduce a boat’s stability and even cause it to sink. High gusts can place immense stress on the lines that tether your vessel to the dock, potentially leading to damage or, in extreme cases, vessel separation. 

The National Weather Service reports for the Sitka area, heavy snow with accumulations of 6 to 12 inches possible and winds could gust up to 45 mph from 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 27 to 12:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 28. 


Free Yoga Classes for Youth at Sitka Public Library
2/21/2024

Sitka Public Library invites youth ages seven and older to free yoga classes led by Beth Miller. The classes will run on Friday, March 1, 8, 22 and 29 from 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. in the library’s multipurpose room. Participants should arrive on time and wear comfortable clothing. No registration is required.

For more information and 907.747.4020 or e-mail Maite at maite.lorente@cityofsitka.org


Free Tax Help at the Sitka Public Library
2/21/2024

Sitka Public Library, in partnership with local bookkeeper Melissa Bunney, will be offering free bookkeeping and tax help for community members this tax season. Melissa will be available in the library meeting room on March 6, March 13, March 20, and April 3 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. to help on a drop-in basis. Help sessions are first come, first served. Topics include personal, business, and nonprofit bookkeeping as well as understanding tax forms and financial statements. For more information, please call Margot at 907.747.4020 or email margot.oconnell@cityofsitka.org.


Parks and Recreation Spring Teen Night
2/23/2024

The City and Borough of Sitka Parks and Recreation, in collaboration with Sitka Counseling, will hold Teen Open Gym on Saturdays, February 24, March 9 and 23, and April 27 from 7:00pm to 10:00pm at Blatchley Middle School (BMS), 601 Halibut Point Road. These events are free of charge and funded by the HOPE Coalition. Activities will include open gym, open skate, ping pong, and karaoke. For more information, please contact Parks and Recreation by emailing recreation@cityofsitka.org or by calling 907.747.4031.


Parks and Recreation FREE Parent Tot Times
2/23/2024

The City and Borough of Sitka Parks and Recreation, in collaboration with the H.O.P.E. Coalition and Sitka Counseling, are excited to announce that the spring Parent Tot times are FREE of charge! Come have some fun from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. February  25 and March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 at Blatchley Middle School (BMS), 601 Halibut Point Road. Activities will include games, tricycles and scooter boards, floor puzzles, bouncy house and more all supported by a grant from the Sitka Legacy Foundation. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Clean gym shoes are required.

For more information, please contact Parks and Recreation at recreation@cityofsitka.org or 907.747.4031.


1,000 Hours Outside Program First Prize Draw at Sitka Public Library
2/17/2024

Sitka Public Library invites participants of the 1,000 Hours Outside Program to share the amount of hours spent outdoors during January and February to enter a drawing contest to win a prize. The drawing will be on February 29. Participants will have the opportunity to receive the spring outside adventure prompts and recommended picture book lists.

Registered children 7 to 10 years-old will also receive a seasonal kit. Kits are limited and they will be distributed on a first-come first-served basis every season. Registration for the spring season opens Thursday, February 29.

For more information call 907.747.4020 or e-mail Maite at maite.lorente@cityofsitka.org


Books and Boots Program at the Sitka Public Library
2/17/2024

Sitka Public Library and AK Way of Life 4-H present Books and Boots, a program for children ages 5 to 7, on Tuesday, February 27 at 3:00 pm. Participants are invited to join a story time segment at the library followed by an outdoor adventure. To join the adventures outside, e-mail allie@sitkawild.org to register, and for story time information contact maite.lorente@cityofsitka.org


Recent Electrical Outage and Workforce Challenges
2/23/2024

We apologize for the electrical outage that occurred on February 22 at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Peterson Avenue. Our Electric Department crew is working diligently to restore power as soon as possible. This situation underscores a longstanding issue we've faced: a shortage of Journeyman Lineman in Sitka and throughout Alaska, which has been challenging for years.

For years, Sitka has relied on National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)-Temporary Employees (NECA-Temps) who are Journeyman Lineman to supplement our workforce at the Electric Department. These NECA-Temps were paid in accordance with the negotiated agreement between the NECA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) as required by the IBEW Agreement with Sitka. This resulted in those individuals receiving some of the highest annual earnings within our community at the rate payer’s expense.

A recently negotiated agreement between NECA and IBEW has again significantly increased the costs of using NECA-Temps. The costs include significantly higher wages, more per diem on top of the wages, and additional pay for overtime and callouts under the NECA Agreement.   

Recently individuals working as NECA-Temps have regularly been asked but refused full-time positions with the City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) in order to get paid the NECA rates and benefits. Also, the individuals who were working as NECA-Temps during 2023 voluntarily decide to end their temporary employment with Sitka on or around February 1, 2024. 

To address this loss of Journeyman Lineman, we have decided not to continue with NECA's temporary services and instead have contracted with a private company for emergencies and some routine Transmission and Distribution services. This partnership aims to provide more reliable repair timelines at a cost-effective rate, despite the challenges posed by the statewide shortage of Journeyman Lineman.

The mission of the utility is to provide its customers with adequate and reliable electric utility service at the lowest cost, consistent with industry standards and sound business principles. Unfortunately, the trend of Journeyman Lineman "following the money" and conflicting agreements has placed additional strain on our community. We're optimistic that our recent service contract will lead to improved service reliability and cost-efficiency for Sitka.

We remain committed to offering competitive wages and benefits, hoping to attract skilled Journeyman Lineman to fill full-time positions with CBS in the future for the long run.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate these challenges.


Assembly Meetings - Agenda, Viewing, and Public Comment
2/23/2024

Regular Assembly Meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in Harrigan Centennial Hall. The agenda and supporting documentation are available at https://sitka.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx, the Sitka Public Library, or by contacting the Municipal Clerk's Office at City Hall. Public comment on agenda items and “Persons to be heard” is encouraged and welcomed. Citizens may provide comments by email, in person, or by phone. Regular and special Assembly meetings are live-streamed through the City's website and YouTube channel. In addition, regular meetings are aired live on KCAW FM 104.7. To receive Assembly agenda notifications, sign up with GovDelivery on the City’s website.

For more information, visit https://www.cityofsitka.com/CityAssembly or contact the Municipal Clerk's Office at 747-1826 or 747-1811.


Assembly Regular Meeting
2/23/2024

The Assembly of the City and Borough of Sitka will hold a Special Budget Meeting on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, at 6:00 p.m. in Harrigan Centennial Hall. The February 27 packet and supporting documentation is available at the following link: 
https://sitka.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=1171906&GUID=A247F499-F06A-46C0-8D27-FD9A9D44AD19&Options=info%7C&Search=&Refresh=1
Assembly meetings are livestreamed through the City's website at www.cityofsitka.com, and YouTube channel.


Tourism Task Force Meeting
2/23/2024

The Tourism Task Force will hold a work session on Monday, February 26, 2024, at 6:00 p.m. at the Harrigan Centennial Hall, 330 Harbor Drive. Agenda Items: Updates from working groups. The public is welcome to attend. No official Task Force action will be taken.


Vacancies on Municipal Boards, Commissions, Committees
2/20/2024

Volunteer positions are available on the following Municipal Boards, Commissions, and Committees: Animal Hearing Board (category-specific seats), Historic Preservation Commission, Investment Committee, Local Emergency Planning Committee, Parks and Recreation Committee, Police and Fire Commission, Sustainability Commission, and Tree and Landscape Committee. Interested individuals may submit a board application and letter of interest to the Municipal Clerk’s Office at 100 Lincoln Street or clerk@cityofsitka.org. Applications are available online at www.cityofsitka.com or the Municipal Clerk’s Office. For further information, contact the Municipal Clerk’s Office at 907-747-1826 or clerk@cityofsitka.org


News Release: Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport Curbside Security and Parking Guidelines
2/13/2024

Sitka, Alaska – The City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) would like to address airport loading zone regulations and guidelines to contribute to a safer and more efficient airport environment for everyone. 

“Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport has received a warning from a Transportation Security Administration Inspector noting that we have been in violation of TSA rules and asks each year what measures the airport is taking to bring the loading zone into compliance. Possible consequences of repeated violations by airport operators regarding Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidelines could lead to costly fines and the eventual loss of the TSA authorization to serve large air carriers suspending air travel to and from Sitka by Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines.” John Leach, Municipal Administrator stated. 

Guidelines and what to know:

  • Signs - Familiarize yourself with the clear and concise language displayed on the multiple signs along the curb. These signs are strategically placed to guide you and ensure a safe and efficient flow of traffic.
  • Regulations – CBS and its operation of the Terminal at the Airport must adhere to State and Federal regulations issued by the TSA.  
    1. 17 AAC 45.020 & 17 AAC 45.090: Describes how individuals utilizing the loading zone are required to abide all signage, instruction from authorized airport personnel and loading zone requirements.  
  • ADA Accommodations: Please note that persons with disabilities or accessibility constraints will be accommodated. Please communicate these needs with the Airport Terminal Manager.
  • Parking Available: Convenient parking spaces are available, and we encourage individuals waiting for deplaning passengers to stage in the parking lots and pull into the loading and unloading zone once the individual or individuals you are waiting for have exited the terminal. While waiting for arriving passengers, please utilize these spaces. Waiting within the loading zone is in violation of 17 AAC 45.020 / 17 AAC 45.090 as the curb area is designated for active loading and unloading only. 
  • Active Loading/Unloading Only – The curbside fronting the Airport Terminal is designated as a loading zone. Only use the loading zone when your passenger is ready for pickup or drop-off. Please limit your time at the curb to active loading or unloading to ensure the best experience for everyone and to help maintain compliance with local, state, and federal law. 

For more detailed information or inquiries regarding curbside security and parking guidelines, please contact the CBS Airport Terminal Manager 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at 907.747.1803.

The City and Borough of Sitka’s mission is to provide public services for Sitka that support a livable community for all. Stay connected to the City and Borough of Sitka! Visit us online at www.cityofsitka.com; like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cityandboroughofsitka/; follow us on Instagram @cbsitka; and Twitter @cbsitka; or call Administration, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at 907.747.1812.

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Spring Music Programming Registration Open February 14
2/12/2024

The City and Borough of Sitka Parks and Recreation will open registration for spring music programming on Feb 14 at recreationatcityofsitka.com. Parks and Rec is offering two classes: Toddlers and Tunes ages 18 months to 3 years old, and Elementary Music Exploration for grades 1 to 5. The toddler class will be from 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The elementary class will be from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Each class is $25.00, and there are scholarships available. Both classes are held at Blatchley Middle School at 601 Halibut Point Road. Classes begin Monday, March 11 and finish Thursday, March 14.

The Spring Music Series, taught by voice and piano teacher Hannah Cummiskey, will introduce participants 18 months to fifth grade to a wide range of musical topics including basic music theory, solfege, sight reading, percussion instruments, improvisation and more.

For more information about this offering visit recreationatcityofsitka.com or contact Parks and Recreation by emailing recreation@cityofsitka.org or by calling 907.747.4031.


Spring "Brake" Cycling Camp Registration Open February 14
2/12/2024

Join Sitka Parks and Recreation and the Salty Spoke Bike Co-Op for Spring “Brake” Cycling Camp! Learn the basics of biking safely in Sitka while practicing riding skills! Students will learn and practice hand signals, rules of the road, and trail biking techniques. Skills learned in this camp will make students more confident and safe bikers. Please bring your own bike and helmet. A limited number of loaner bikes may be available, contact Parks and Recreation for more information. Bike pumps and tools will be provided by the Salty Spoke.

Grades 6 to 8 will meet Monday, March 11 and Tuesday, March 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Keet Gooshi Heen. Grades 3 to 5 will meet Wednesday, March 13 and Thursday, March 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Keet Gooshi Heen, 307 Kashevaroff Street.

Each session is $25. Scholarships are available at https://www.recreationatcityofsitka.com. Contact Sitka Parks and Recreation at 907.747.4031 for more information.


Sitka Babies and Books Lovey Things Program
2/9/2024

Sitka Babies and Books and Sitka Public Library invite families to Lovey Things!, a program about hearts and painting. The event will take place on Saturday, February 24 at 10:30 am at the library. Participants are encouraged to wear play clothes, aprons, or art smocks. Pre-registered babies and toddlers will receive a free book. Books are purchased with a grant from Sitka Legacy Foundation, an affiliate of the Alaska Community Foundation.

To register, or for more information call 907.747.4020 or e-mail Maite at maite.lorente@cityofsitka.org


SEARHC Labor and Delivery Doc Talks at Sitka Public Library
2/7/2024 

Sitka Public Library is partnering with SEARHC to offer a series of free public talks about pregnancy and birth in Sitka. These events are a chance for the public to meet with care providers, learn about available services, and ask questions in a friendly setting. The following programs will take place in February and March:

February 22nd: The 2nd and 3rd Trimester with Dr. Antonio and Dr. Foster

March 7th: Sex After Dark: The Menstrual Cycle and Other Things Not Taught in High School with Dr. Antonio

March 21: The 4th Trimester and Newborns with Dr. Polston

All programs will take place at 6:30 PM in the Sitka Public Library Multipurpose Room. For more information, please contact Margot at 747-4020 or email margot.oconnell@cityofsitka.org


Zumba Fitness Registration Open February 6
2/7/2024 

The City and Borough of Sitka Parks and Recreation is offering Spring Zumba Fitness for Seniors. Registration is open now online at recreationatcityofsitka.com or by contacting Parks and Recreation.

Zumba Fitness is a full-body workout designed for any skill level. This lower impact class combines balance, breathing, flexibility, light cardio, and stretching while building muscle memory. Ages 55 and up. The class is led by certified Zumba instructor Kate DesRosiers.

Spring Zumba Fitness will be held at Blatchley Middle School MPR, 601 HPR. The class will meet Sundays 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. from February 18 to April 28. No class will be held on March 31 or April 7. The session fee is $40.

For more information or to register, please contact Parks and Recreation by emailing recreation@cityofsitka.org or by calling 907.747.4031.


Parks and Recreation Open Recreation Saturdays
2/1/2024

The City and Borough of Sitka Parks and Recreation will be holding open recreation Saturdays, February 3, 10, 17, and 24 at Blatchley Middle School (BMS), 601 Halibut Point Road. Family open roller-skating will be held in the BMS MPR from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. followed by open rec in the BMS Commons from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 35+ open basketball in the BMS Main Gym from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Open gym punch cards for youth, adults, and families will be available for purchase at the Parks and Recreation office located at BMS.

For more information, please contact Parks and Recreation by emailing recreation@cityofsitka.org or by calling 907.747.4031.


Blind Date With A Book At The Library
1/26/2024 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day by going on a Blind Date with a Book! Gift-wrapped books for all ages will be on display at Sitka Public Library throughout the month of February. Read the clues, choose a book, check it out, unwrap, and enjoy!

For more information call 907.747.4020 or email Maite at maite.lorente@cityofsitka.org or Margot at margot.oconnell@cityofsitka.org


Smokey Bear Reading Challenge at Sitka Public Library
1/5/2024

From January through November 2024, the United States Forest Service and libraries across the country are celebrating Smokey’s 80th birthday by participating in the Smokey Bear Reading Challenge. The challenge is geared towards children ages 4 through 10, but all ages are welcome to join. The Smokey Bear Reading Challenge aims to engage youth in reading about wildfire prevention, forests, and natural resource careers while they explore their local environment. Participants can register at Sitka Public Library and get a registration packet.

For more information call 907.747.4020 or e-mail Maite at maite.lorente@cityofsitka.org


Leads/Requested/Suspended Operations for Missing Person
12/24/2023

Sitka, Alaska – Jedidah Kowchee, 28 years old, 5’ 4”, 155 pounds was last seen leaving AC shopping center on December 13, 2023, at approximately 4:07 p.m. He was wearing a black hat and black jacket, light colored hoodie under his jacket. Tan khaki pants, black running shoes with black and white soles and clear framed glasses. 

Sitka Police Department (SPD), Sitka Fire Department (SFD) Search and Rescue and Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA) volunteer teams were dispatched and searched during daylight hours on Saturday, December 23 and again on Sunday, December 24 until early afternoon. 

Despite their concerted efforts, Jedidah’s whereabouts remain unknown. A joint effort to locate Jedidah Kowchee, the SPD, SFD Search and Rescue, and STA volunteer teams emphasize the critical need for additional leads from the community.

Anyone having contact or information regarding Jedidah, is asked to contact the Sitka Police Department 907.747.3245 or the anonymous tip line 907.747.8980, or Sitka Fire Department Search and Rescue 907.966.5770, or STA by phone 907.738.7622 or text the keyword AKTIPS followed by your crime tip to 847411. 

Anyone interested in volunteering, please report to Sitka Tribe of Alaska headquarters at 204 Siginaka Way or contact Mary Ferguson at  907.738.9229.

The City and Borough of Sitka’s mission is to provide public services for Sitka that support a livable community for all. Stay connected to the City and Borough of Sitka! Visit us online at www.cityofsitka.com; like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cityandboroughofsitka/; follow us on Instagram @cbsitka; and Twitter @cbsitka; or call Administration, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at 907.747.1812.

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Protect Sitka's Sewer Systems
12/15/2023

The Wastewater Division would like to remind the citizens not to flush wipes down the toilet. This includes cleaning wipes, baby wipes, blue shop towels, paper towels, etc. This also applies to wipes that are marketed as flushable. None of these products break down in water and can cause costly back-ups and damage to sewer infrastructure. Please no wipes in the pipes.

Please contact the City and Borough of Sitka Public Works Department with any questions at 907.747.1804


Snow and Ice Management 
12/13/2023

The City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) would like to address snow and ice management responsibilities to ensure the safety and accessibility of our community. 

Infrastructure Included in CBS Public Works Snow & Ice Management:

  • CBS-owned roadways
  • CBS-owned Parking lots
  • CBS-owned walkways (unless adjacent to private property as specified in CBS Code 14.04.020)
  • CBS-Owned storm drainage structures

Infrastructure NOT Included in CBS Public Works Snow & Ice Management:

  •  Private roads and driveways (CBS is not responsible for snow berms in driveways or private roads)
  •  Private parking lots
  •  Sidewalks or public thoroughfares that are adjacent to private property. (See CBS Code 14.04.020)
  •  Private storm drainage structures on private property
  •  Immediate area around US Postal Service mailboxes 

Note: Private of non-maintained roadways are typically identified by red and white reflective tape adhered to the street sign pole.

For more detailed information or inquiries regarding snow and ice management responsibilities, please contact the CBS Public Works Department at: 907.747.1804.


Swan Lake Senior Center Available for Reservation Requests
8/24/2023

City and Borough of Sitka Parks and Recreation, in coordination with the Swan Lake Senior Center (SLSC), is accepting reservation requests for weekend use of the Senior Center, 402 Lake St. The SLSC is available 4:00 p.m. Friday to 8:00 p.m. Sunday. The dining room and kitchen are available to reserve. Applications/agreements are available on the Parks and Recreation page at www.cityofsitka.com and at the Parks and Recreation location at Blatchley Middle School, 601 Halibut Point Road.

For more information visit the Parks and Recreation page at www.cityofsitka.com or contact Parks and Recreation by emailing recreation@cityofsitka.org or by calling 907.747.4031.


Katlian Street Closed to Pedestrian Traffic in the 400 Block
09/29/2022 

The City and Borough of Sitka opened Katlian Street to two-way vehicle traffic in the 400 block. Pedestrian traffic remains closed. Please use caution and follow all signage.  We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience during this timeframe. Please contact the CBS Public Works Department with any questions. 907.747.1804.


Recycle Center Accepted Materials
08/17/2022

The City and Borough of Sitka Public Works Department urge citizens to follow instructions and signage at the Recycle Center at 802 Sawmill Creek Road. Recycled items are source separated and baled for shipping off the island; contaminates to our recycled goods prevent the CBS from obtaining a return on the recycled materials. The contaminated materials must be sent to the landfill and are costly. 

The Recycle Center accepts aluminum, corrugated cardboard, glass, metal, newspaper, and plastic #1 and #2. For further information, please visit the solid waste page under the Public Works Department at www.cityofsitka.com or call 907.747.1804.