The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Sue McClure
KPB Borough Assembly Member 

Assembly takes up raises in Seward

 

Wolfgang Kurtz | The Seward Phoenix LOG

Randy Stauffer of the Seward Bear Creek Flood Service Area board makes public comment before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly during their annual visit to Seward last week.

April 15 was the annual meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Seward, which was a nice treat for me and seemed to be enjoyable for the rest of the assembly and other borough folks who came over. Our meeting lasted about 1.5 hours, which was time enough for the visitors all to drive back home afterwards.

At our regular meeting, there were no presentations and only a few public comments, mostly from Seward Bear Creek Flood Service Area Board members. In his report, both during committee meetings and at the regular meeting, Mayor Mike Navarre stated that the borough budget will be presented at the May 6 meeting, and that he is anticipating a $400,000 surplus this year. He is participating in the Medicaid advisory group with the state, is monitoring the capital budget and may return to Juneau in that regard, discussed the Liquid Natural Gas mayor's group which is concerned with the impact on municipal taxes of an LNG pipeline project, commented that Conoco Philips is reopening their Nikiski plant, and noted that talks are moving forward on the North Road extension.

The assembly had only two ordinances up for public hearing, with no public comments on either at the meeting. Ordinance 2013-19-33 redirected previously appropriated funds for South Peninsula Hospital from HVAC to oxygen generators, and was approved by unanimous consent. The other, Ordinance 2014-11, Smith Substitute, was amended and discussed, postponement voted down by a 5-4 vote, and then ultimately defeated by a 5-4 vote. This would have raised assembly members' compensation from $400 to $560 per month, effective in October 2016. Then Assemblymember Brent Johnson moved for reconsideration. So at the next meeting, we will vote on whether or not to reconsider it, but without additional public hearing.

Assembly members also approved several resolutions on the consent agenda, and moved one ordinance for public hearing on May 6. This would accept and appropriate $32,701 from the state to purchase mobile radios for Bear Creek Fire and extrication equipment for the Anchor Point Fire Service Area.

The assembly also amended the 2014 meeting schedule to add one meeting, July 22, and delete one, Aug. 19. The latter is the state primary election date.

At the next meeting, May 6, we have four other ordinances up for public hearing. Ordinance 2013-19-34 would appropriate $1.37 million from school revenue capital project funds for safety and security improvements for schools. Ordinance 2014-13 would amend code to provide that we may waive deadlines for senior or disabled veteran property tax exemption applications by resolution rather than by ordinance.

 

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