20 August 2013 Borough Assembly Meeting Report
By Sue McClure
We had a very short meeting, with a light agenda, and little public attendance. A presentation was made by Michele Miller, Development Director of the Pratt Museum in Homer on the progress of their new museum project. The building will be approximately 13,000 square feet, to include 5000 square feet of display area, costing around $9.5 million. They anticipate completion in 2016.
In his report, Mayor Navarre stated that the elodea issue in Daniels Lake and others would not be dealt with this year. This is an invasive aquarium plant that is in area lakes, but they will wait until next year to treat it. Also, it should be noted that the Mayor plans to be in Seward on August 28th.
Four ordinances were up for public hearing and all four were passed unanimously. Of some local interest, Ordinance 2013-19-01 which accepts a grant from the State for $100,000 for repair and maintenance of Jacob’s Ladder Drive, in the Grey Cliffs area, had been postponed due to research on alternate areas. It was passed, but administration is still considering working to the south of the proposed area, and work would not proceed until next summer.
We also unanimously passed an ordinance appropriating $350,000 for gas conversions to the Homer schools, as natural gas is being supplied to that area. Also, Ordinance 2013-19-07 was passed, accepting $2 million from the State for road projects.
Coming up for public hearing at our next meeting on 9-3 is an ordinance recording expenditures by the State on behalf of the borough’s unfunded PERS liability, of $2.77 million. We also moved to public hearing an ordinance to appropriate $300,000 for remodeling the borough’s IT department.
At the 9-3 meeting we will hear the ordinance accepting the $545,000 in revenue sharing from the State—this will provide nearly $20,000 to the unincorporated communities, such as Hope, Cooper Landing, Lowell Point and Moose Pass, among 23 others. I soon will be announcing the dates of the community meetings to discuss use of these funds.
We voted to approve the ballot proposition summaries for the October 1 election. There were some amendments made, and some discussion, but we ultimately approved the language for the four propositions: Proposition 1 would increase the residential property tax exemption from $20,000 to $50,000; Proposition 2 is an educational capital improvement general obligation bond of nearly $23 million, for roof repairs to schools, with a 70% forgiveness from the State; Proposition 3A asks whether to repeal term limits for the assembly, and Proposition 3B asks whether the assembly terms should remain at 2 or be increased to 3 terms.
The next Borough Assembly meeting will be at 6 PM September 3rd. As always, I can be reached at 224-6784 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Seward Annex office in SeaView Plaza is available for information, as well as the borough’s website www.borough.kenai.ak.us.