5-6-2014 Borough Assembly Meeting Report
By Sue McClure
Our afternoon began at 1 PM with a budget presentation by Craig Chapman, Finance Director. He outlined the highlights of the fiscal year 2015 borough budget. It is pretty much like last year, maintaining the 4.50 mill rate, holding the school district contribution steady pending information on the State’s level of funding, and showing few changes in any area. The ordinance to approve the budget, Ordinance 2014-19, was set for public hearing at the June 3rd meeting. This presentation was followed by presentations from non-departmentals: CARTS, Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council, and the Small Business Development Center. Each has received borough funds in previous years, and the potential budget maintains the same levels of funding. Amendments may be made to specific budget items prior to enactment of the funding ordinance.
At the regular meeting, Mayor Navarre proclaimed May 2014 to be “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month”, and also May 11-17 to be National Hospital Week. There was no public input throughout the nearly 2-½-hour meeting. We unanimously enacted six ordinances, two of them funding school safety and security improvements and purchase of maintenance equipment. Ordinance 2013-19-36 appropriated funds for the purchase of mobile radios for Bear Creek Fire Service Area. Funds were appropriated to add to the amount available to complete the SOHI track and field project, and Ordinance 2014-13 was passed which will allow the assembly to waive late-filed property tax exemption requests (after March 31) by resolution instead of by ordinance.
Although Mr. Johnson had filed notice of reconsideration after the defeat of Ordinance 20114-11 (Smith Substitute) at our last meeting, no one moved to reconsider, so the vote from the previous meeting stands. This keeps the assembly compensation package as it currently exists.
We passed two resolutions on the consent agenda, and one other, which was removed from the consent agenda, took up most of our time. This was Resolution 2014-030, which waived for good cause the late filing of 40 senior citizen and disabled veteran exemption applications. After much discussion, 25 of the names presented were excluded and the resolution was then passed.
We moved six ordinances on for public hearing. Of local note, Ordinance 2013-19-38 will appropriate nearly $750,000 from the State division of Homeland Security and emergency Management for costs incurred by the flooding in October 2013. A portion of that will be returned to the Seward Bear Creek Flood Service Area. Ordinance 2014-14 will amend code to move some boundaries of the assembly and school board districts to better align with state election precincts. Few people will be involved in these changes, as only about 20 people live in the changed boundary areas. There will be two ordinances authorizing sale of borough parcels of land, Ordinances 2014-16 and -17. These will be heard at our June 3rd meeting.
Our next meeting will be May 20 at 6 PM. 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 and Flood offices at SeaView Plaza are great sources of borough information as well.