"We've had two people go over the side because of the fact when it gets rainy out there and when it ices up, if you don't have really good control of your car, you're going to go over the edge," Oswalt said. "It's happened twice. What we're afraid of is, there's no fatalities at this time and point, but we're afraid that there would be a fatality."
Service area boards are responsible for maintaining the roads in their area, and those costs are covered by taxes. However, the Bay View board does not have enough money to cover the cost of a guard rail. "It's my feeling that the borough owns (the road), the borough should help in maintaining it or taking care of it," Oswalt said.
According to an estimate the board got from a company currently doing guard rail work in Kodiak, it would cost $16,650 to install a guard rail.
Fred Roberts, a member of the board, added that the guard rail should have been installed when the road was originally built. "Nowhere else on the road system do we have an area like this that does not have a guard rail," Roberts said. Borough manager Bud Cassidy said the original plans for the road did not include a guard rail.
The assembly expressed support for loaning the service area money to add the guard rail, but were against outright paying for it.
"I think it opens up Pandora's Box of every other road service area saying, 'Well, there should have been culverts when this road was designed. It wasn't put in the state specs, we should have had culverts put in so we need the borough to pay for our $100,000 worth of culverts.' 'The ditching wasn't done correctly on this road,'" said Assembly member Aaron Griffin. "I think we have to tread pretty lightly, even though I think this is a fairly small request, I think it could open the door to much larger ones."
Assembly member Chris Lynch agreed.
"I don't want us to set a precedent," Lynch said. "We are, per statute, per borough code, we do not spend general fund money on service district boards. Loaning the money to them, we've done that in the past to Womens Bay, to, I think, Service District 1, that's an option, but I also am not in agreement of giving them money."
Since it was a work session, no action was taken. The assembly will be contacting the borough attorney for a legal opinion on financing and liability in the event of an accident.
Contact Julie Herrmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.