Capital project spending gets hearing

Posted: Sunday, June 19, 2005

An ordinance that could affect the future of major capital improvement projects in the North Peninsula Recreation Area will get a public hearing at Tuesday's meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Mayor Dale Bagley, who introduced Ordinance 2005-24, proposed the measure in an effort to abide by the provisions of an initiative approved by voters last year that required voter approval of service area capital projects costing more than $500,000.

The validity of using the initiative process to require voter approval of proposed expenditures is awaiting a legal ruling and may prove legally unenforceable, the mayor said in a memo to the assembly. That ruling could affect other initiative petition proposals to impose similar voter approval requirements boroughwide, the mayor said.

Adoption of Ordinance 2005-24 would not be binding on future assemblies for two years as initiatives are.

"However, placing this ordinance on the books forces the assembly to address the voter approval requirement as preferred by voters regardless of whether the initiative is upheld by the courts," he said.

The ordinance would go into effect only if the voter-approved initiative is declared invalid by the courts.

A long list of ordinances up for public hearings could push Tuesday's meeting into the late hours.

Ordinance 2004-19-55 would appropriate $322,551 from the general fund to provide supplemental funding from local sources to the school district.

The additional funding is required because of increases in state per-student funding approved by the Legislature last year, and by higher-than-expected enrollment, which generated further state spending, necessitating a greater local match.

Tuesday's meeting also includes a public hearing on Ordinance 2005-11, which would establish restrictions on sexually oriented businesses in the rural district. The assembly will consider several amendments, including abandoning a provision banning such businesses from being located within 500 feet of a bike path. Doing so, said ordinance proponent Milli Martin of Diamond Ridge has been determined to eliminate entire stretches of commercially used property.

Other ordinances up for public hearings include:

n Ordinance 2005-20 adopting the 2005 Kenai Peninsula Borough Comprehensive Plan;

n Ordinance 2005-23 authorizing the long-term lease of Beach Access Tract, Moose Point Subdivision to ConocoPhillips Company;

n Ordinance 2004-19-56 accepting and appropriating a $50,000 grant from the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for security equipment.

Another measure, Ordinance 2005-28 would send to the fall ballot of the Central Emergency Service Area the question of authorizing general obligation bonds amounting to $2.5 million to pay for planning, designing, building, equipping and financing a fire station in Kasilof. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 2.

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