20 May 2014 Borough Assembly Meeting Report
By Sue McClure
The assembly heard presentations from the Central Peninsula Hospital (their quarterly report) and the Friendship Mission in Kenai. The mission is self-supporting, and provides food and shelter for individuals in need of a new start.
Mayor Navarre reported that his office is working on the borough’s 50th anniversary celebration, set to be held on the Kenai Peninsula College campus August 14. He was in the Seward area a week ago meeting with Bear Creek Fire volunteers to work on their new contract. He also gave an update on the municipal entitlement land selection status, stating that the State did not give a good response to our selections, but the borough intends to appeal. We also heard an update from Scott Walden on the Funny River and Tyonek wildfires.
In public comments, there was concern expressed about drainage ditches in the Kenai area of Buoy Drive, which experienced flooding last fall.
There was only one ordinance for public hearing and it passed with unanimous consent. This accepted about $5800 from the Coastal Impact Assistance Program and redirected some $18,200 of deobligated funds for the Adopt-A-Stream program, which involves educating school children about stream care.
Resolution 2014-032 was passed on the consent agenda, which set the base line for school funding at $43.5 million, the same as last year. This will be adjusted at our next meeting, after the level of state funding and relative fund balance use by the school district and the borough are considered. Resolution 2014-034, approving a cooperative fire suppression agreement between the Bear Creek Fire Service Area and the Forest Service, was also approved on the consent agenda.
Three ordinances were introduced, all on the consent agenda, both to have public hearings on June 17. Ordinance 2014-20, sponsored by Mr. Smith, would amend code to require all borough elections to be held by mail, and would also remove the pro/con statements on propositions from the election brochure. There would still be locations to vote absentee, but all precincts would receive by-mail ballots if this passes. Ordinance 2014-18, sponsored by Mr. Johnson, would change the 60% majority requirement to increase the cap on taxable sales to a simple majority.
Our next meeting will be at 6 PM June 3, and at this meeting we will discuss, offer amendments, and ultimately approve the fiscal year 2015 budget. This will be in the form of Ordinance 2014-19, which will be up for public hearing. The draft budget is available on the borough website for viewing, but at this time is essentially the same as last year. We also will hold public hearings on Ordinance 2013-19-38 which appropriates nearly $750 thousand from the State in disaster funds for the fall 2013 floods, and Ordinance 2014-14 which slightly adjusts six assembly and school board district boundaries to align with precinct boundaries.
I can be reached at 224-6784 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and the borough’s website is www.borough.kenai.ak.us. You can see the budget, meeting agendas and minutes, and a whole lot more at this site. The Seward Annex and flood offices in SeaView Plaza are available for information as well.