Seward considers legislative priority list

Many of the projects are carried over from last year’s list

New city infrastructure and a continued financial commitment to a key flood diversion project are among the projects the City of Seward wants to prioritize in 2024, a list considered by Seward City Council members on Monday says. The list describes projects that the Seward City Council thinks would most benefit from outside funding and support.

So far, the 2024 plan includes 13 projects that the city’s identified as priorities for either state or federal funding opportunities. Many of the projects are carried over from last year’s list, such as Lowell Creek flood diversion infrastructure, expansion of city utilities to support new residential development and construction of a new public works facility.

In preparing a list of projects the city plans to pursue outside funding for, Seward Acting City Manager Norm Regis said the list is used to “effectively interact” with the city’s state and federal representatives and lobbyists. Regis said having a list of clear priorities is particularly important if the city seeks to take advantage of the funding opportunities currently available.

“In 2024, the legislative priorities list continues to be of primary importance, given the ongoing likelihood of expansive federal infrastructure fund availability,” Regis wrote.

Still at the top of the list is the Lowell Tunnel Outfall Diversion Structure — a longtime priority of the city. The existing infrastructure diverts Lowell Creek away from the city to help mitigate flooding in the area. The project was fully funded by the federal Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act, and the city is now focused on “continued full funding” for the project.

Other projects on the list include state funding for the full operating cost of the Seward Community jail, funding for a new harbormaster office, funding for a new public safety facility and the replacement and refurbishing of the city’s sidewalks. That’s in addition to infrastructure upgrades at the Seward Marine Industrial Center and funding for maintenance and operations at the Seward Airport.

Council members voted Monday to postpone the legislation until Sept. 11. Alaska’s state lawmakers will return to Juneau in January for their session.

Monday’s meeting of the Seward City Council can be streamed on the city’s YouTube channel.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at