By Sue McClure
One agenda item, Resolution 2014-017, dominated nearly three hours of our 4 ½ hour-long meeting. Originally on the consent agenda, this resolution would have put the question of funding the “non-departmentals” to an advisory vote at the regular fall election. Twenty-two people testified, and all but two spoke in favor of continued funding the five groups in question: Kenai Peninsula Community College, Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, Small Business Development, Center Central Area Rural Transit, and Kenai Peninsula Tourism and Marketing Council. After assembly discussion and several failed amendments, the resolution was defeated by a 7-2 vote, with Mr. Wolf and Mr. Pierce voting in favor.
Back to the day’s beginning, our committee meetings began at 2:45 PM. At the regular meeting, Mayor Navarre stated that he had testified in Juneau on two bills: SB 138 the gas bill, and HB119, calling for permanent registration of vehicles over 8 years old, which would affect our tax income. He will be speaking with DOT soon concerning funding of the North Road extension. He also stated during the committee meeting time that he has announced his bid for re-election this fall.
We had public hearings scheduled on six ordinances. There were no public comments given on any of these, and five passed by unanimous consent. Two of local significance were Ordinance 2013-19-27 appropriating $30,000 in supplemental funding for the Bear Creek Fire Service Area to be used for operating their new building through the fiscal year, and Ordinance 2013-19-28 appropriating $50,000 to hire consultants to analyze the potential borough-wide revenue impact of the proposed LNG pipeline project. One ordinance failed to be passed. Ordinance 2014-06, which would have changed the length of time between introduction and public hearing for ordinances except those amending borough code, was defeated by a 6-3 vote. The current 25-day minimum will remain in effect.
A resolution supporting additional research on the Cook Inlet beluga whale was passed by a 6-3 vote after some assembly discussion. We also moved four ordinances for introduction, on the consent agenda, including Ordinance 2014-11, sponsored by Mr. Johnson, which would amend code to revise the assembly members’ compensation. This will have its public hearing April 1.
Our next meeting will be March 18 at 6 PM, and will be the only meeting in March. As always, you can reach me for more information or comments at 224-6784 or email@example.com. The Seward Annex Office and the Seward Bear Creek Flood Service Area office, both located in SeaView Plaza are great sources of information, as is the borough’s website: www.borough.kenai.ak.us.