Road money driving assembly agenda

Posted: Sunday, September 04, 2005

Public hearings are likely to consume a good portion of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly's meeting Tuesday as members tackle a list of 10 proposed ordinances that include several appropriation measures.

First up will be Ordinance 2005-19-13 that would appropriate $384,500 from the road service area fund balance to cover projects the RSA wants supplemental funding for, including surveying and platting of future roads, continued work on street name changes, additional general road maintenance, and increasing available funds for providing matching dollars for the Road Improvement Assessment District program.

The better part of the $384,500 is being generated by the tenth-mill road tax increase approved by the assembly for the RSA's 2006 budget.

That increase is expected to bring in around $266,000, according to Roads Director Gary Davis, but the RSA board has identified projects requiring the $384,500 total. The difference between the increased tax revenue and the total would be appropriated from the service area's existing fund balance.

The money would be spent on:

Contracts for surveying and platting work, $20,000;

Dust control, $20,000;

Sign installation, $5,000;

General road maintenance, $180,000; and

Transfers to the Road Improvement Assessment District (RIAD) matching fund, $159,000.

Another roads matter is the subject of Ordinance 2005-19-14 that also is up for public hearing on Tuesday. That would appropriate $33,000 to the RSA's engineer's estimate fund that pays for engineering studies and cost analysis of RIADs.

A third ordinance, 2005-19-16, also involves roads. It would accept state and federal grants totaling more than $1.76 million and appropriate them to the Kenai Spur Highway extension project. The ordinance authorizes another $66,000 from the RSA's fund balance to go to the extension project, which eventually will extend the highway beyond Captain Cook State Park.

Other public hearings the assembly will hold include:

Ordinance 2005-19-17 accepting a $280,000 state grant for an ongoing Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council project;

Ordinance 2005-19-20, accepting a $22,125 grant for the borough's Local Emergency Planning Committee;

Ordinance 2005-19-22, accepting a $40,000 grant for the borough's Coastal Management Program;

Ordinance 2005-19-23, accepting an $11,000 grant to update the borough's Coastal Management Plan; and

Ordinance 2005-34, which would amend the borough code regarding the use of eminent domain.

The assembly also will consider introduction of an ordinance sponsored by assembly member Grace Merkes, of Sterling, that would specifically exempt certain nonprofit groups from real property taxes. Ordinance 200-40 would add the following organizations to the code's "community purpose" exemption list:

Cooper Landing Senior Citizen Corporation Inc.

Homer Senior Citizens Inc.

Nikiski Senior Citizens Inc.

Sterling Area Senior Center Inc.

Merkes said that under the borough assessor's current interpretation of the community purpose exemption, organizations providing senior housing are typically not exempt from real property taxes.

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