Assembly meeting may go long

Borough to address 10 ordinances

Posted: Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A long list of ordinances open for public hearings faces the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Tuesday as members return to their regular twice-monthly meeting schedule.

The assembly met only once in July, providing members with a bit of a respite after the labors of budget writing exercise at the end of the last fiscal year, and a chance to attend to business at the height of the summer season.

Today, however, 10 ordinances are up for assembly action and all have had time set aside for public testimony, which could push the meeting into the late hours.

In terms of potential expenditure, Ordinance 2007-24 is the biggest by far, though before any cash changes hands, 60 percent of the voters in the Bear Creek Fire Service Area would have to pass a ballot measure this fall and agree to an increase in property taxes.

The ordinance would fund a new fire station in the Bear Creek area, a project estimated to cost about $3.5 million. That would be accomplished by combining grant funds yet to be acquired totaling $2.1 million with $1.4 million in general obligation bonds.

The current ordinance language would put the full faith and credit of the service area behind repayment of the bond principal and interest and allow taxable property rates to go up "without limitation" to assure availability of repayment funds.

However, borough Finance Director Craig Chapman has proposed a clarifying amendment to set the repayment mill rate at 1 mill, or $100 per $100,000 of assessed value. That would push the total mill rate within the service area to 3.25 mills.

The bonds would only be issued if the grant money is acquired.

A voter supermajority of 60 percent is necessary whenever capital expenditure on a project exceeds $1 million.

Three other ordinances up for hearings involve much smaller though still sizeable amounts, but not voter approval.

Ordinance 2007-19-59 would appropriate $37,586 from the general fund for interest due on 2007 school bonds. The general obligation bonds, $2.588 million in all, were sold in January and the first interest payment came due in May. The bonds were eligible for 70-percent reimbursement from the state and the borough received $26,047 on June 15 to cover the state's obligation for the first payment.

Ordinance 2007-19-01 would spend $50,000 in interest income (earned on federal funds appropriated to the Spruce Bark Beetle Program) to address water damage and other possible deficiencies in the Nikiski Fire Station No. 2, including the hose tower. Such use of the interest funds is consistent with the intent of the federal grants, according to Mayor John Williams.

Ordinance 2007-27 would provide a supplemental appropriation of $111,324 to the special assessment fund for the Chinulna Point Subdivision road improvement special assessment district and authorize award of a contract.

Other ordinances up for hearing include:

* Ordinance 2007-22 authorizing negotiated sale of a little over one-half acre to resolve a long-standing trespass issue arising when a house and a well were constructed in error on adjoining land when that land was still state-owned. The property will be sold to the Gary R. and Louella Buzunis 2002 Family Trust at fair market value.

* Ordinance 2007-23 authorizing the sale of certain borough land by sealed bid. The lots are in Anchor Point, Ninilchik and Kalifornsky Beach.

* Ordinance 2007-25 would adopt the final plan amendment of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Zone Management Plan.

nOrdinance 2007-26 would amend borough code to provide a time limit on scheduled presentations at the assembly

* Ordinance 2007-28 would amend borough code covering the South Peninsula Hospital Service Area to align provisions with those of the Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area.

* Ordinance 2007-29 would amend borough code to provide that the assembly may rescind by resolution, authority delegated to service area boards without a 90-day waiting period.

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