Martin, Long take oaths again

Posted: Thursday, October 16, 2003

Standing with right hands raised, the winners of the Oct. 7 Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly election took their oaths of office in a brief ceremony before a packed room of onlookers attending the assembly's regular meeting Tuesday.

Milli Martin of Diamond Ridge and Ron Long of Seward, who had been campaign incumbents, then assumed their familiar positions on the dais as the representatives of the South Peninsula and East Peninsula districts, respectively.

Dan Chay of Kenai, who defeated incumbent assembly member John Davis in the race for the Kalifornsky District seat, will take his position at the Oct. 28 meeting.

Davis' term ended with the closing gavel Tuesday night. As the meeting was ending, Davis extended his best wishes to Chay and made a request of his assembly colleagues.

"I would ask that you treat our new representative and young man from District 1 with respect and teach him all you can," Davis said.

Other members extended their thanks to Davis for serving and for the forthright expression of his views.

Final figures presented to the assembly by borough Clerk Linda Murphy showed that of 38,059 registered voters, only 8,879 cast ballots, for a voter turnout percentage of 23.33 percent. By comparison, the 2002 election drew 30.56 percent.

The business end of things was relatively light for Tuesday's meeting. A large consent agenda, in which several items are voted on under one motion, took care of the bulk of issues before the assembly.

Four noncontroversial ordinances were up for public hearing. Three accepted and reappropriated state grant money for various projects, and a fourth appropriated funds for the expansion of South Peninsula Hospital.

Ordinance 2003-19-14 appropriated two grants from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development totaling $36,071 for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Management Program. Most of the grant ($32,857) will fund a three-quarter-time administrative clerk position. The remaining $3,214 will initiate a review of borough coastal management policies, the first step in the update of the Coastal Zone Management Plan.

Ordinance 2003-19-16 involved another grant from Community and Economic Development, this one for $38,850 to carry out Coastal Zone Management Program tasks and permit reviews. The grant requires a 50-percent match from the borough.

Ordinance 2003-19-17 appropriates $17 million for the South Peninsula Hospital expansion project. Some $10.5 million of that came from the proceeds of the sale of general obligation bonds. The remainder will be covered by hospital revenues.

Ordinance 2003-19-18 appropriated a Community and Economic Development grant of $120,000 to the Nikiski Fire Service Area for a new ambulance.

In other business, the assembly:

Passed Resolution 2003-112, encouraging the cruise ship industry to offer passengers a menu choice of Alaska wild salmon in an effort to help support Alaska's economy.

Introduced Ordinance 2003-19-20, authorizing acquisition of a lot, house and garage near South Peninsula Hospital that the hospital needs as additional space for clinical services. The price is $182,000. A public hearing is scheduled for the Nov. 18 meeting.

Introduced Ordinance 2003-19-23, approving the purchase of a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system for Central Penin-sula General Hospital. The unit will cost $1.3 million, with $300,000 coming from a Denali Commission grant, $500,000 from the hospital's plant, replacement and expansion fund, $320,000 from previously approved capital equipment appropriations and $180,000 from a trade-in allow-ance on the existing MRI. A hearing is set for Nov. 18.

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