Arctic Winter Games officials say they have reworked their budget, solved anticipated cash flow difficulties and no longer need a $500,000 loan from the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
An ordinance to approve a $500,000 appropriation meant to resolve the cash shortage facing the Arctic Winter Games Host Society was pulled off the borough assembly agenda Tuesday. The host society would have repaid the borough with $500,000 earmarked for the Games in Gov. Frank Murkowski’s supplemental spending package.
“Tim Dillon (Games’ general manager) worked very diligently and was able to find enough ways to shuffle things around to where the cash flow works,” said Bill Popp, administrative aid to borough Mayor John Williams.
The budget revisions did not include any new resources of money, Popp said.
“It was mainly being able to time bills when they were due and timing expenses when they were incurred, just logistics,” he said.
Ordinance 2005-19-44 was introduced Feb. 7 to meet the cash flow difficulties during the Games because the governor’s supplemental budget was unlikely to be passed and signed into law until well after the Games were over.
Mayor Williams proposed the measure as early as he did to allow time for a public hearing, rather than try to pass an emergency ordinance on the eve of the Games.
In the meantime, however, host society officials reworked their budget to solve the problems.
“At last assembly meeting, a lot of assembly members pushed us to make sure that we were working with Arctic Winter Games to see if there were ways that they could make it without the ordinance,” Popp said.
Dillon said Thursday the host society would be able to make it through the Games without the need of a borough loan, and that the society was currently paid up on every bill.
Cash flow was always a consideration, Dillon said.
“We don’t get the Ticket Master (the company marketing AWG tickets) money until a week after the Games,” he said, “and merchant money only comes in during the Games. Then there are walk-up ticket sales that you get only during the Games.”
Ticket sales are booming, and could get even better if Team Alaska does well, he said.
“We are selling enough tickets,” he said. “We have a variety of peninsula athletes on Team Alaska. As Team Alaska goes, ticket sales will go.”
If Team Alaska athletes make it into finals events, local demand for tickets would be expected to jump even further, he said.
Also Tuesday, the assembly approved spending $366,220 to fund a Homer Electric Association utility-line tree clearing operation between Tutka Bay and Sadie Cove on the south side of Kachemak Bay. That money was earned as interest on federal dollars appropriated to the borough to mitigate the effects of the spruce bark beetle infestation.
In other business, the assembly:
· Approved Ordinance 2005-19-41, appropriating $42,215 in Central Peninsula Hospital Service Area funds to reimburse the hospital for carpet replacement.
· Approved Ordinance 2005-19-43, appropriating $101,614 to the Special Assessment Fund for the Moose Range Subdivision Natural Gas Line Utility Special Assessment District.
· Approved Ordinance 2006-02, changing the effective date of tax provisions regarding recreational sales to Jan. 1, 2007, dependent upon the outcome of a voter referendum in October.
· Passed a Resolution 2006-015, establishing federal legislative and funding priorities for fiscal year 2007, which begins July 1.
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