3 December 2013 Borough Assembly Meeting Report
By Sue McClure
Our only meeting in December began with a joint budget work session with the KPB School District administration and members of the Board of Education. Superintendent, Dr. Steve Atwater presented an overview of the district’s financial outlook, followed by a discussion. With decreasing student numbers and less money expected from the State, the district is proposing to reduce its expenditures by $1.25 million for FY15. There will be a local budget meeting in Seward in February.
Our committee meetings began at 2 PM, led off with a presentation from Mikunda Cottrell & Co. on our annual financials, and the audit. It was reported that our audit was excellent.
At the regular meeting, following a commending resolution for the Pop Warner Soldotna Saints Junior Peewee State champions, we heard the quarterly report from the school district and also the quarterly report from South Peninsula Hospital.
In the Mayor’s report, Mr. Navarre stated that individual assistance for the September-October flood victims would be available from December 8-11. Information will be on the borough’s website and also in the local newspapers.
We had three ordinances up for public hearing. All three were passed, without public comment, by unanimous consent. One, Ordinance 2013-19-22 appropriated nearly $23 million in general obligation bond proceeds to the bond capital projects fund—this is the result of the November 14 sale of the bonds that were approved by voters in October, for school roofs and turf fields. The sale rate was 3.65%.
A number of resolutions were approved on the consent agenda. Resolution 2013-079 approved the list of flood mitigation projects, totaling $1 million that were previously selected by the Seward Bear Creek Flood Service Area Board. This is from the grant from the State from the current budget. This list includes the Dairy Hill drainage project for the City of Seward. Another, a laydown, authorizes the mayor to apply for assistance for the damage from the October flood/storm event.
Two involved fishing on the other side of the borough: Resolution 2013-082 asks the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game to continue the enumeration estimates of sockeye smolt in the Kasilof River. Assembly Member Wolf, to allow more public testimony, pulled the other, Resolution 2013-081, from the consent agenda. This supports the continuation of set netting in Cook Inlet. We heard from nearly 20 fishermen, all in favor of this resolution, which then passed by unanimous consent, and will be forwarded to the legislature and others.
Our next meeting will be held on January 7, at 6 PM, and we have three ordinances for public hearing. Ordinance 2013-19-24 appropriates $1.3 million from the Central Peninsula Hospital plant replacement fund for a new computer system, Ordinance 2013-35 authorizes a lease of a newly classified 4.7 acres in Kenai, to Cook Inlet LLC for a pipeline, and Ordinance 2013-36 which would amend our code to cap the senior citizen property tax exemptions at $300,000, which was approved by the voters in 2007, but with the extra allowed exemptions has often been exceeded. Assembly Member Smith sponsored this ordinance.
As always, I can be reached at 224-6784 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The borough’s website is www.borough.kenai.ak.us. The Seward Annex office, and the Flood office, both located in Sea View Plaza are great sources of information as well.