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Infrastructure Bill Could be Boon for Homer Harbor Expansion

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City of Homer
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Also, the Homer Public Library now has old-fashioned LPs and a new record player for patrons to explore analog music on vinyl.

Last week the U.S. House passed President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill, which includes billions of dollars for Alaska projects. All three members of Alaska’s D.C. delegation voted yes on the measure.

In Homer, the Port and Harbor Commission is excited about the prospects of funding for the Homer Harbor Expansion project. Ian Pitzman gave the commission’s report to the council Monday night.

“I wanted to highlight to you the importance of the harbor expansion project. I don't know how many years we've been talking and dreaming about the harbor expansion, but you know with the backdrop of what's going on in Washington and the infrastructure bill, the time to spend political capital or communicate with our Senators and Representative is now,” he said. “Anybody that wants to contribute to that effort, from the city council to to residents of the city, and just remind the decision makers how important that project is to our community and to our port and harbor.”

The expansion plan will create room for more large vessels, something that is in high demand.

“The port director highlighted that the large vessel terminal is at maximum capacity here for September and October. Maximum and in excess of maximum. There's a few boats hauled out in the marine terminal,” Pitzman said. “There's been three large vessels hauled out there, a full dock and they had to turn away a few boats, non-local boats, but boats looking to moor for the winter that we just couldn't accommodate.”

During the Library Advisory Board report, Chair Marcia Kuszmaul shared some news for fans of good old fashioned long-play records.

“At this month’s LAB meeting, we were excited to hear the library has a new collection of vinyl LPs along with a record player and headphones. So that'll be fun. We were also interested to learn of a collaborative project with the Pratt museum for a series of upcoming public events where community members can look at old maps and annotate them. Old maps of Homer and annotate, you know who lived where, what stores were here. So that that sounds a lot of fun and both of these activities demonstrated to us how the library continues to be very responsive and relevant to the community.”

At the last LAB meeting, which did not have a quorum, Kuszmaul said the members present spent some time considering the library’s relationship with younger patrons.

“And we had a very robust discussion about ways we can learn about what the library means to local youth, as part of an ongoing objective we have to serve young people of the community,” she said.

In his report, City Manager Rob Dumouchel said the derelict vessel North Pacific, which was beached on the Spit all summer, has been about a third taken apart, and will soon be all gone.