Assembly doles out bond money to schools projects

Posted: Monday, February 26, 2007

Bond proceeds amounting to nearly $2.6 million authorized by voters last fall were divided among various school capital projects under terms of an ordinance approved Tuesday by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

The ordinance transferred $996,012 to an areawide arsenic removal project at several schools as reimbursement for borough spending.

It also transferred $665,158 to cover reimbursement of spending on a re-roofing project at Nikolaevsk School, $300,000 to cover reimbursement on a project to replace the windows at Soldotna Elementary School, and $626,829 to an account set aside for re-roofing McNeil Canyon Elementary School.

In a memo to the assembly, Finance Director Craig Chapman explained that the funds to the first three projects would fully reimburse the borough for expenditures, but the money going to McNeil Canyon’s re-roof job would still leave that project about $123,170 short.

“Any savings from the first three projects can be used for this purpose and will be included in the (fiscal year) 2008 capital budget,” he said.

Portions of the projects are already completed. Rob Robson, borough public works director, said the Nikiski arsenic removal system is installed, and those at Tustumena and Sterling elementary schools are to be installed soon. Meanwhile, the Nikolaevsk roof project is about to go to bid and will be performed this spring, while the McNeil Canyon roof project will go to bid May 1 and be done this summer. The installation of new windows at Soldotna has not yet begun, Robson said.

In other business, the assembly Tuesday approved:

n revising and clarifying proceedings of the Board of Adjustment;

n appropriating a $40,000 Denali Commission grant for recycling equipment, specifically large containers for collecting recyclable plastics at remote sites, including Seldovia, Nanwalek and Port Graham;

n appropriating $39,500 to the assembly elections budget to cover anticipated costs of the May 8 special by-mail election in the South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area;

n introducing a measure that would spend $216,000 from the equipment replacement fund to buy nine vehicles for the borough’s motor pool. Currently, the borough reimburses certain employees who use their own vehicles for job-related travel. That car allowance program is to be phased out. Instead, the borough proposes a motor pool that would make borough-owned vehicles available to traveling employees. The administration estimates an annual savings of $78,000. In all, 18 vehicles will be needed. The other nine would be purchased during the fiscal year 2008 budget cycle. A public hearing is set for April 3;

n introducing a measure that would spend $102,000 in interest income on emergency communications equipment. A hearing is scheduled for April 3;

n introducing a measure that would spend $28,000 to replace the surge tank and sand filter systems at the Nikiski Pool. A hearing is scheduled April 3; and

n introducing a measure authorizing a one-year extension on the option to lease Ladd Landing. The borough entered the option agreement in 1987 with PacRim Coal LP, developers of the Beluga coal field. The one-year extension is needed, the administration said, to work through certain details in developing a proposal appropriate to a five-year extension.

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