3 June 2014 Borough Assembly Meeting Report
By Sue McClure
We began the day at 2 PM with committee meetings, which included discussions of the Fiscal Year 2015 budget that had been presented by Mayor Navarre. Public testimony and discussions began at about 8 PM, and ended with the budget ordinance being enacted at about 10:30. There are few changes from last year, although we amended the budget to add $500,000 to the school district budget (to a total of $44 million), and added an additional $25,000 to CARTS. Additionally, we cut some funding for assembly travel, and our contingency funding of $20,000 was eliminated. All this was after many failed amendments to reduce the “non-departmental” funding, and discussion. Then, Resolution 2014-037, setting the mill rates, was unanimously passed. The overall mill rate of 4.50 was unchanged, however we did approve Mayor Navarre’s proposed 0.25 mill increase to the Seward Bear Creek Flood Service Area’s rate, bringing it to 0.75 mills. This was requested and approved by the Flood Board, and will allow the service area to enhance the funding from the state, to provide proactive flood mitigation projects.
Earlier in the evening, we heard quarterly reports from both the KPB School District and South Peninsula Hospital. In his report, Mayor Navarre gave us an update on the Funny River fire, and stated that the governor did not veto any of our capital requests.
In addition to the budget ordinance, we passed six ordinances by unanimous consent. Two authorized land sales (none in our area), one allows the Road Service Area to decertify roads when there are no objections, and Ordinance 2013-19-38 appropriates nearly $750 thousand from the state for the fall 2013 floods. Most of that goes to the Kenai area, with about $12,000 to reimburse the Seward Bear Creek Flood Service Area. Seven ordinances were introduced. Several accept and appropriate funds from the state, including $400,000 for the elodea eradication project. This would also approve the purchase and use of fluridone in the lakes to eradicate this plant, which was used in home aquariums and takes over the lakes.
Our next meeting is scheduled for June 17th at 6 PM. At this time there will be a public hearing on Ordinance 2014-18, changing the 60% requirement to a simple majority to increase the cap on taxable sales, sponsored by Mr. Johnson. Ordinance 2014-20 will also be heard, and it is the sponsor’s intent to split it into two parts. This would require all borough elections to be held by mail, and also would repeal the inclusion of statements supporting and opposing propositions in the election brochure. Also, Ordinance 2014-22 will adopt the updated borough all-hazard mitigation plan. The only other ordinance would shift some unused state funds to another project, construction of the Central Peninsula landfill maintenance building.
As always I can be reached at 224-6784, or firstname.lastname@example.org. The borough’s website is www.borough.kenai.ak.us, and the Seward Annex and Flood Board offices in Sea View Plaza are there for your use. There is one vacancy on the Flood Board at this time, and anyone in the service area may apply.