Funds for projects up for borough approval

Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Ordinances proposing to appropriate funds to a variety of projects from removing dead trees and site design for a new multi-use emergency building to road projects and developing community emergency response teams are up for public hearings at today's Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting.

Congress has appropriated $929,000 to the borough for hazardous tree removal. Ordinance 2003-19-39, introduced in March, provides funding to continue the ongoing tree-removal program. Spruce bark beetles have infected more than 1.5 million acres of peninsula spruce forest, raising the hazard of wildfire.

The same congressional appropriation also provided funding to the city of Seward ($260,000) and to Homer Electric Association ($300,000) for tree removal programs.

Ordinance 2003-19-40 would appropriate $100,000 for site evaluation and schematic design for a multi-use building for E-911 Dispatch Center, Central Emergency Services administration and the Borough Office of Emergency Management on borough property on Wilson Lane in Soldotna.

The site evaluation and schematic design must be done before the true cost of the construction project can be estimated accurately, according to Scott Holt, borough director of finance.

Ordinance 2003-19-41 in-creases the fiscal year 2004 Road Service Area capital improvement project budget from $1.3 million to a little more than $1.74 million, an increase of nearly $442,000. Some of the extra money will be redirected from the accounts of several already completed projects.

Ordinance 2003-19-45 would appropriate a $7,500 grant from the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for development of community emergency response teams, known as the CERT.

Under the CERT program, area citizens get training in responding to emergency situations within their communities and provide support to first responders, assistance to victims and help organizing volunteers at a disaster site. The grant will continue ongoing CERT effort.

The assembly also is expected to consider several resolutions, including Resolution 2004-040, which would authorize award of a contract for the Kachemak Emergency Services Fire Station and Community Hall project to Criterion General Inc. of Anchorage, and Resolution 2004-042, authorizing award of a contract for Phase II of the Central Peninsula Landfill expansion project to Wolverine Supply Inc. of Wasilla.

Tuesday's agenda also includes ordinances for introduction. One, Ordinance 2004-10, would establish the Nikiski Law Enforcement Service Area. A hearing is scheduled for May 18. Ordinance 2003-19-47 would appropriate $585,000 from the fund balance of South Peninsula Hospital Service Area to provide supplemental funding to cover operational losses. A May 18 hearing is planned.

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