5 August 2014 Borough Assembly Meeting Report
By Sue McClure
Ordinance 2014-25, which passed by a 5-4 vote at our July 22 meeting, was vetoed by Mayor Navarre August 4th, and by a 5-4 vote at this meeting we failed to over-ride the veto, so the ordinance was defeated. This comes after hours of testimony and discussion covering three assembly meetings. The ordinance, sponsored by Mr. Smith, would have asked the voters in October whether they approved a 3% borough-wide bed tax, with proceeds to go to tourism marketing. Earlier, on the consent agenda, we approved the ballot language for three borough-wide propositions. All are advisory votes only. Proposition A1 asks if voters approve limited animal control powers for domestic animal rescue outside of the cities, A2 asks if they approve levying a 0.02 mill property tax to fund this, and Proposition B asks if voters approve conducting borough elections by mail.
Earlier in the meeting, we heard the quarterly report from Central Peninsula Hospital, and a presentation from the SPCA concerning animal rescue and animal control officers.
In his report, Mayor Navarre announced the appointment of Connie Bacon as interim Fire Chief for Bear Creek Fire Service Area, discussed the current status of the North Road extension, and announced a public meeting regarding the K Beach flooding issues for August 19 at 6 PM at the River Center. It was also announced that Dr. Steve Atwater, KPBSD Superintendent, has resigned effective December 1, to take a position with UAA.
We unanimously, without discussion, passed six ordinances. Five appropriated funds, including nearly $10,000 for the Bear Creek Fire Service Area and $307,577.50 for the City of Seward from the borough’s portion of the commercial passenger vessel tax (cruise ship head tax). We also passed a substitute Ordinance 2014-19-11, appropriating up to $2.9 million from the Central Peninsula Hospital plant replacement and expansion fund to purchase imaging equipment.
We introduced 12 ordinances on the consent agenda, most of which appropriate state funds. Among those, Ordinance 2014-19-14 accepts and appropriates $100,000 for the Bear Creek Fire Service Area to complete the new station, and another accepting nearly $30,000 for Bear Creek for search and rescue equipment. Also, Ordinance 2014-19-17 accepts $500,000 for the Seward Bear Creek Flood Service Area for flood mitigation projects. Ordinance 2014-19-21 accepts the community revenue sharing funds for the 27 unincorporated communities. Public hearings on these will be at our September 2 meeting.
We also introduced Ordinance 2014-29, sponsored by Mr. Ogle, which would move the deadline for all senior citizen and disabled veteran property tax exemption applications from February to March 31, hoping to result in fewer late filed applications.
Our next meeting will be at 6 PM September 2 (we only meet once in August this year), and in addition to the appropriation ordinances and 2014-29, we will have Ordinance 2014-19-12, accepting $15,200 from US Homeland Security for Bear Creek Fire Service Area for 8 sets of turnout gear.
As always, I can be reached at 224-6784 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The borough’s website is www.borough.kenai.ak.us. I am told that we will begin live streaming of our meetings in late October!! The Seward Annex and Flood Service Area offices in Sea View Plaza are great information sources, and our agendas are posted at post offices, Seward City Hall, and of course in the newspaper.