If they don’t have space this summer, I don’t know what they are going to do.” BLM is planning to demolish its two aging barracks buildings on the western edge of the former Air Force Base, and first approached the City four years ago about leasing housing near its airport base of operations.
A special city council meeting to reconsider the ordinance should be coming in the next few weeks.
City Manager Shanda Huntington told the council that two rooms are intended for city police officers and the remaining eight would be used by the city to house short-term visitors such as auditors, inspectors and contractors.
The city currently uses the Birchwood dormitory on base for that purpose, but QAP General Contractors of Anchorage recently approached the city about leasing the entire Birchwood through 2018.
City and school officials have concluded that the switch to a hot water-based heat distribution system, which accompanied the switch to biomass heat on base last fall, exposed some of the shortcomings of the aging heaters in the dorm.
The prior steam-based heat system compensated for those shortcomings by operating a higher temperature.
That’s short of the 36 rooms BLM is requesting during the peak of the fire season, but Blasco said it represented a good compromise.