22 July 2014 Borough Assembly Meeting Report
By Sue McClure
Our second July meeting echoed the first, as we heard hours of public testimony and adjourned just before midnight. The ordinance with the most input and discussion was Ordinance 2014-25, which places the question of a borough-wide “bed tax” on the October ballot. It was amended down to 3%, and with other housekeeping amendments, ultimately passed by a vote of 5-4. I voted in favor of putting the question on the ballot. Mr. Wolf asked for reconsideration, so it will appear on our August 5 agenda as a “notice of reconsideration” under unfinished business. If we vote to reconsider, we will do that, otherwise the vote at this meeting stands.
In another narrow 5-4 vote, we passed Ordinance 2014-24, amending code to eliminate the pro/con statements on propositions from the voter informational brochure. This was sponsored by Mr. Smith, and was based on the fact that rarely were two opposing views submitted.
We passed Ordinance 2014-26 with a 7-2 vote, which expands the boundaries of the South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area to include areas below mean high tide. This will have to go to the voters in that area to finally decide.
Notice of reconsideration was given on two items at our July 1 meeting and we discussed both. Resolution 2014-044, which was defeated at that meeting, places an advisory question on the October 7 ballot, asking whether the borough should conduct borough elections by mail. This was passed by a 6-3 vote. Then, Ordinance 2014-20, requiring the elections to be by mail, was postponed to the second meeting in January, so that we can know the results of the advisory vote. I voted yes on both of these.
Resolution 2014-048 passed with a 6-3 vote, correcting the mill rate in a ballot question. At the July 1 meeting we passed a resolution putting the question on the October ballot regarding borough funding of domestic animal rescue in areas outside the cities, and the mill rate was listed as 0.002. This corrected it to 0.02, which would supply approximately $100,000 for this purpose.
We also confirmed the reappointment of Ron Hewitt to Seat B of the Bear Creek Fire Service Area Board.
Our next meeting will be at 6 PM August 5. At that meeting we will have public hearings on several appropriations, including a grant of nearly $10,000 for the Bear Creek Fire Service Area, and Ordinance 2014-19-10, appropriating $307,577.50 to the City of Seward from the cruise ship “head” tax. There also is an ordinance appropriating up to $2.9 million from Central Peninsula Hospital’s plant replacement and expansion fund, for the purchasing of imaging equipment from Providence.
As always, I can be reached at 224-6784 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. The borough’s website is www.borough.kenai.ak.us. In Seward, the Annex office and the Seward Bear Creek Flood Service Area office, both in Sea View Plaza, are great sources of information.