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

By Sue McClure
KPB Borough Assembly Member 

Borough assembly considering new bed tax

 


July 1, 2014 Borough Assembly Meeting Report

We had a full audience, with much public testimony, and our meeting ended just before midnight. The bulk of the testimony was about Ordinance 2014-25, the first of two public hearings. This is the ordinance proposing a 4 percent borough-wide transient accommodations tax (bed tax), subject to voter approval on the Oct. 7 ballot, to be used for tourism marketing and schools. This was amended to be used only for tourism marketing. There was an attempt to change it to a 1 percent tax and then to a three percent tax, but both amendments were defeated. It will be addressed again on July 22, and vote on the ordinance at that time.

Another ordinance that brought out the public for testimony was Ordinance 2014-20, amending code to require borough elections to be held by mail. This would only apply to borough elections, and begin this fall, if approved. Mr. Bagley sponsored a resolution (2014-044) that would put an advisory vote on the October ballot to give the public a voice on this issue, and this resolution was defeated 5-3. He later moved for reconsideration at the July 22 meeting. Then the ordinance was defeated by a 4-4 vote. The sponsor, Mr. Smith, moved for reconsideration at the 7/22 meeting, so if either or both is brought forward, it the resolution and/or ordinance will be reviewed at that time. e

Resolution 2014-045, sponsored by Mr. Johnson, placing a non-areawide advisory vote on the October ballot asking whether the borough should exercise and fund limited animal control powers for domestic animal rescue in the areas outside the cities passed by 6-2 after much input and discussion.

In other, unanimous, votes, the assembly accepted and appropriated several state grants, one of which was $400,000 for the elodea eradication project. The city of Seldover’s comprehensive plan was also approved.

The assembly introduced six ordinances on the consent agenda. Ordinance 2014-19-07 accepts and appropriates a nearly $10,000 state grant for the Bear Creek Fire Service Area, and Ordinance 2014-19-10 appropriates the cruise ship “head tax” proceeds, and will allocate $306,722.50 to the City of Seward. These will be up for public hearing at the August 5 meeting.

The next meeting will be at 6 pm July 22. Living streaming is expected to start on the borough website at that meeting. At that time we will have the last public hearing on the bed tax ordinance (2014-25),and also hear Ordinance 2014-24, which would change code to remove the pro/con statements on ballot propositions from the voter brochure. And, the assembly may reconsider the by-mail voting resolution and ordinance.

As always, I can be reached at smcclure@borough.kenai.ak.us or 224-6784. The Seward Annex and Seward Bear Creek Flood Board offices in Sea View Plaza are great informational sources, as is the borough website http://www.borough.kenai.ak.us.

 

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