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Aleutian Village Updates
Contact
Allie Ferko
Public Information Officer

Lisa Von Bargen
Community & Economic Development Director

212 Chenega Ave.
P.O. Box 307
Valdez, AK  99686

Public Information Office: (907) 834-3468

Hours
Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
The City of Valdez continues to actively monitor plans by the Aleut Corporation to close the Aleutian Village Trailer Park.

The City Public Information Office has established a community email distribution list to provide updates of City actions regarding the closure. Anyone wishing to subscribe to the list should contact Allie Ferko, public information officer, at .

Update #14 - 09/30/2016

City Council will discuss the current status of Aleutian Village concerns during their regular meeting on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 in City Council Chambers.

Within the Council packet for the meeting, Ms. Lisa Von Bargen, City Community and Economic Development Director, provided a comprehensive report on the City's current actions regarding Aleutian Village.

To view the report, visit http://www.ci.valdez.ak.us/agendas (click on City Council - October 4th Regular Meeting Agenda).

Update #13 - 05/26/2016

On May 26, 2016 the Aleut Corporation issued a letter to residents of Aleutian Village stating:

"Aleut Real Estate hereby rescinds the "Notice to Vacate" issued in 2015. That notice identified a closing date for the park of August 31,2016. Aleut will take some additional time to consider the company's issues and options associated with our ownership of Aleutian Village and identify an appropriate course of action."

Click here to view the 05/26/16 letter to residents from Aleut Corporation.

Update #12 - 05/18/2016

City Council will hold a special meeting to discuss Aleutian Village concerns on Tuesday, May 31st at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. The meeting is open to the public.

Public Notice Council Work Session 05/31/2016

Click Here to View the Special Meeting Agenda

Update #11 - 05/11/2016

At the April 19th regular City Council meeting, Council formed a subcommittee to work with City administration regarding Aleutian Village. Council subcommittee members include Mayor Weaver, Council Member McCune, and Council Member Shirrell.

Since April 19th, the following items have been accomplished by the Council/Administration working group: 

*  Held two Council/Administration working group meetings, with another scheduled this week;

*  Met with the Aleut Corporation in Anchorage to discuss possible access to the property to conduct due diligence examination of utilities and other items;

*  Drafted a property access agreement for consideration by both the Aleut Corporation & City of Valdez;

*  Held multiple phone meetings with ADOT regarding property access, lease requirements, and the purchase of the land;

*  Spoken with the Governor's office about elevating the priority of the land sale within the Alaska Department of Natural Resources;

*  Contacted an environmental firm about conducting a Phase I environmental examination of the park property;

*  Further reviewed alternative solutions for Aleutian Village;

*  Begun drafting a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a possible third-party operator to take over the park; and

*  Had initial discussions with one party potentially interested in purchasing the park.

Further information, including the date/time of the next Aleutian Village public meeting, will be emailed and posted as it becomes available.

Update #10 - 04/15/2016


City Council held a work session on Tuesday April 19, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. in Council chambers to discuss Aleutian Village solution alternatives.

The work session was open to the public. However, due to limited time for discussion, City Council did not take public comment during the work session. Those wishing to provide public comment on the topic could do so during "Public Business from the Floor" of the regular City Council meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Public Notice Council Work Session 04/19/2016

Click Here to View Work Session Agenda Materials



Update #9 - 03/18/2016

City Council held a work session on Tuesday March 22, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in Council chambers where the proposed Aleutian Village Agreement and other items were discussed. Public comment was encouraged during the work session and multiple residents provided testimony to City Council.

Public Notice Council Work Session 03/15/2016

New Estimated Costs for Aleutian Village Subdivision Development

Proposed Agreement Between COV and Aleut Corporation

State of Alaska Land Occupancy Map

Link to Council Work Session Audio Recording (Click City Council, then the hyperlink for audio)

Update #8 - 03/07/2016

City Council held a work session on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in Council chambers where the proposed Aleutian Village Agreement was be discussed. Due to limited time at the work session, Mayor Weaver called an additional work session on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 to hear testimony from park residents and concerned citizens.

Public Notice Council Work Session - 03/15/2016

Link to Council Work Session Audio Recording (Click City Council, then the hyperlink for audio)

Update #7 - 02/12/2016

On February 11th, City Manager Dennis Ragsdale and City Community & Economic Development Director Lisa Von Bargen met with neighborhood residents and concerned citizens to discuss the proposed agreement between the City and the Aleut Corporation prior to City Council action.

The Aleut Corporation has agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City regarding Aleutian Village. The MOU extends the current eviction dates for park residents through September 30, 2016 which will allow the City to explore options to purchase park land from the State of Alaska, work with the FAA regarding zoning, conduct environmental sampling/testing, and survey existing infrastructure and utilities. City Council will review and take action on the MOU at their regular meeting on Monday, February 29, 2016.

By late June or early July 2016, the park will be in one of two scenarios:

NO GO: In this scenario, the City would not be able to purchase the land if, for example, the State will not sell to the City or if there are significant financial or environmental concerns barring the purchase. In this case, the Aleut Corporation would proceed with the extended tenant eviction date of September 30, 2016. The Corporation would be responsible under their current lease with the State to return the property back to its original condition.

GO: In this scenario, the City would be able to proceed with purchase of the land from the State. The Aleut Corporation would continue to operate the park at a loss through October 31, 2018. During this period of time, the City would complete requirements for the land purchase and turn the neighborhood into a full mixed used subdivision (water/sewer/streets brought up to municipal code for a City subdivision, surveying/zoning/plotting of land, etc.). The City would also apply for the Federal Community Development Matching Block Grant to assist with the cost of development, which would also reduce costs to those eventually purchasing the lots. Following creation of the subdivision, the City would sell individual lots to the public, with preference being given to current park residents before the general public.  

Park residents and concerned citizens are invited to attend the Council work session and regular meeting on Tuesday March 15, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in Council chambers where the proposed Aleutian Village MOU will be discussed. Public comment is encouraged during the regular meeting.

Valdez Municipal Code - R-M: Residential Mobile Home District - Chapter 17.22



Update #6 - 02/04/2016


City Manager Dennis Ragsdale will conduct a town hall meeting for neighborhood residents and concerned citizens to review the proposed agreement between the City and the Aleut Corporation prior to City Council action. The public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 11th at 6:00 p.m. in City Council chambers.


Update #5 - 01/06/2016

The City Manager held a town hall meeting for neighborhood residents and concerned citizens on Friday, January 8th at 6:00 p.m. in City Council chambers. The meeting was open to the public.

Link: City Manager Town Hall Meeting Public Notice - 01/06/2016

Link: *Draft* Memorandum of Understanding between TAC and the City of Valdez.


Update #4 - 12/09/2015


Interim City Manager, Mr. Robert Jean, met with community residents and other concerned citizens in a Town Hall Meeting on December 9, 2015. The Mayor and several City Council members were also in attendance.

Ms. Lisa Von Bargen, City Director of Community and Economic Development, detailed the aggregated results of the Aleutian Village Confidential Household Survey. She explained the results qualify the City to apply for a State of Alaska Block Grant. The City plans to apply for this 50/50 matching grant in 2016 for award in 2017 to help finish park utility infrastructure.

Mr. Jean reported on his meetings with officials from the Aleut Corporation and the Governor's Office. He explained the financial realities of the operating the park and explained establishing a local homeowners is likely not a viable option. He stated, the Aleut Corporation reports 25 of 60 park residents are at least one month behind on space rent. Additionally as of December 9th, 34 park homeowners are behind on property taxes.
 
He explained his goal moving forward in negotiations with the Aleut Corporation is to extend the park closure deadline to 2017 or 2018. If this is possible, it would allow the City to work with the Corporation to resolve utility concerns, determine environmental conditions of the park, and work with the state and federal governments on options moving forward. The land is currently owned by the State of Alaska and zoned as airport by the Federal Aviation Administration. Ideally once utilities are completed, Mr. Jean explained, the property would be rezoned to multipurpose residential, purchased from the state, subdivided, and sold to residents.

However many steps are involved in the ideal process and may not become a reality. Unless rent payments become current, Mr. Jean explained, the operating loss of the park increases and makes the City's ability to negotiate a time extension or other resolution even more difficult.  Without an agreement between the Aleut Corporation and the City, the park may still close August 2016.
 
Mr. Jean is scheduled to meet again with the Aleut Corporation's Chief Financial Officer on December 17, 2015 in Anchorage to discuss options and try to obtain a better understanding of park operating costs. 


The next City Manager town hall meeting is slated for the second week in January 2016. 

Link: Dec. 9th Town Hall Meeting Presentation

Link: Aggregated Report of Aleutian Village Neighborhood Survey

Link: City Manager's Aleutian Village Discussion Elements Outline


Update #3 - 12/02/2015

Interim City Manager, Mr. Robert Jean, and City Attorney, Mr. Tony Guerriero, met with representatives of the Aleut Corporation on November 4, 2015 in Anchorage to discuss concerns and options regarding the park closure.

Mr. Jean also met with key personnel from Governor Walker's office regarding the situation. 

Information from these meetings and an update on the situation will be provided to residents in a City Manager Town Hall on Wednesday December 9, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers.

Link: City Manager Town Hall Meeting Public Notice - 12/09/2015


Aleutian Village - Confidential Household Survey 

The City of Valdez contracted Sheinberg Associates to conduct a survey of Aleutian Village residents. The confidential household survey will ask for information about your housing needs. Sheinberg Associates asks only one survey be completed per household.

Surveys must be completed no later than October 30, 2015.

There are three ways to take the survey:

1. Online (Best method) - Click here to access the online survey.

2. Phone - Take the survey over the phone by calling Sarah Bronstein at Sheinberg Associates, (907) 586-3141. 

3. Paper -  Fill out the paper survey mailed to park homeowners or handed out at the City Manager town hall meeting on October 16th. Send the completed survey to Sheinberg Associates via mail, fax (907) 586-2331 or scan to .
 
Those needing special assistance filling out the survey should contact Sarah Bronstein at the phone number or email above.


Update #2 – 10/06/2015

A City Manager Town Hall meeting for the community and affected residents is scheduled on October 16, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. in City Council chambers. The meeting is open to the public.

Link: City Manager Town Hall Meeting Public Notice - 10/16/2015


Update #1 – 9/25/2015

Additional town hall style meetings were scheduled to be held both before and after City of Valdez and Aleut Corporation representatives met in late October. However, Representative Jim Colver successfully arranged an earlier meeting with City officials and the corporation on October 6, 2015 in Anchorage. 

As discussed at the September 21st Council work session, the City issued a second change order to the Sheinberg & Associates contract obligating the consultant to protect the confidentiality and anonymity of survey respondents. Survey data will only be provided in aggregate format to the City.


Background

On September 9, 2015, the City of Valdez learned through a third party that the Aleut Corporation wanted to close the Aleutian Village Trailer Park next year. The corporation began sending out notices on September 10th and 11th instructing residents to vacate the park by August 31, 2016. The closure will displace approximately 68 households and up to 200 Valdez residents.

The City of Valdez immediately contacted the corporation and received a response on September 15, 2015. That response indicated they would not be available to meet with city leadership until after October 20, 2015 to discuss potential “options”.

“While the actions of the Aleut Corporation appear to be consistent with statutory notice requirements, I have serious concerns with the lack of communication to city staff and neighborhood residents prior to notices being issued,” stated City of Valdez Interim City Manager Robert Jean. “As we wait to meet with representatives of the company, we remain committed to representing and supporting the needs and concerns of our residents.”

Since learning of the planned closure, Mr. Jean held an Open House on Wednesday September 16, 2015 to hear from park residents and discuss processes moving forward. Last week, the Community and Economic Development department began work to coordinate a professional survey of park tenants for use in developing options for residents should the closure proceed. Physical condition inspections of park water, electrical, and required infrastructure will also be contracted to determine the Aleut Corporation’s legal obligations under current city code.

A work session was held on September 21, 2015 to update Valdez City Council and park residents and continue to discuss the way forward.

Link: City Manager Town Hall Meeting Public Notice - 9/16/2015

Link: City Council Work Session Agenda, Minutes, & Audio - 9/21/2015

Link: City of Valdez Interests Document - 9/21/2015

Link: Press Release - 9/21/2015

Link: City Manager, Bob Jean, Letter to the Editor in the Valdez Star - 9/23/2015