Synopsis of services provided by federal, state and local government agencies

Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2000

Here is a rundown of the Kenai Peninsula's major government services, the number of employees and costs within the borough:

n United States of America: 394 employees; total payroll about $19 million*

Most federal employees on the peninsula work for the Federal Aviation Administration at airports. Others work at local post offices or in natural resources management at Chugach National Forest, Kenai Fjords National Monument, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge or the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (headquartered in Homer). Fewer than 10 each work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the Veterans Administration, the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Alaska congressional delegation and military recruiting offices.

The numbers do not include Coast Guard personnel stationed in Homer and Seward.

n State of Alaska: 1,039 employees; total payroll about $37.8 million*

The main state functions on the Kenai Peninsula are law enforcement (about 400 people work for the state troopers, courts and the prisons at Wildwood and Spring Creek), higher education (about 300 work at Kenai Peninsula College in Soldotna and Homer or the Alaska Vocational Technical Center in Seward) and about 100 each in resource management (the Alaska departments of Fish and Game and Natural Resources, including parks) and the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (road construction, maintenance, some airports and harbors).

The state also has public health nurses; investigators from the state Department of Environmental Conservation; juvenile probation officers; employment specialists; an Alaska Army National Guard armory in Kenai; social workers and people who staff public assistance, the registrars', legislative information and Department of Motor Vehicles offices.

n Kenai Peninsula Borough: (excluding the school district) 228.6 full-time equivalent positions; total payroll about $15 million; total budget about $78 million***

The borough provides some road and most school maintenance, landfills, mapping, planning, borough elections and emergency response, including the 911 system. The borough handles sales, real and personal property tax collections for the municipalities and service areas as well as itself, performing tax-related functions such as assessing, accounting and processing of delinquencies. It manages borough lands, the Kenai River Center, the North Peninsula Recreation Area, the Nikiski Fire Department, Central Emergency Services and advisory planning commissions. The borough assembly is involved with the school district, senior citizens services, the Economic Development District and hospitals in Soldotna and Homer.

n Kenai Peninsula Borough School District: 1,056.5 full-time equivalent positions***; total payroll about $49 million**; total budget about $73.5 million***

Most district employees are certificated classroom teachers. Others include administrators, classroom aides, specialists for disabled children, custodians, cooks and food servers, counselors, librarians, athletic directors, pool aides, secretaries, nurses and theater technicians.

n City of Kenai: 133 employees*; total payroll about $4.3 million**; total budget about $12 million***

Kenai maintains city roads and operates the Kenai Municipal Airport, a fire department, a police department, a small harbor, an animal shelter, water and sewer utilities, the Kenai Public Library, the recreation and teen center, the Kenai Senior Citizens Center and the associated Vintage Point Manor senior housing.

n City of Soldotna: 35 employees*; total payroll about $2.2 million**; total budget about $7.6 million*.

Soldotna maintains city roads and operates a police department, an animal shelter, water and sewer utilities, the Soldotna Public Library, campgrounds and the Soldotna Sports Center. It is involved in the Soldotna Visitors Center and Soldotna Community Schools.

n City of Homer: about 79 employees (now); total payroll about $4.2 million**; total budget about $16.5 million***

Homer maintains city roads and operates a fire department, a police department, a large harbor, an animal shelter, campgrounds, water and sewer utilities and the Homer Public Library.

n City of Seward: 84 year-round employees (now); total payroll about $3.5 million**

Seward maintains city roads and operates a police department, a fire department, an electric utility, an animal shelter, water and sewer utilities, the Seward Public Library, campgrounds, a youth center and the large port and harbor. It is involved with the Alaska SeaLife Center and the Alaska Vocational Technical Center.

Seldovia and Kachemak City also have a few employees.

* Figures based on the four quarters ending June 30, 1999.

** Figures based on the 1999 calendar year.

*** Figures based on the projected total for the fiscal year in progress ending June 30, 2000.

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