Games look to grants for boost

Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2004

A pair of grants that will go a long way toward funding the 2006 Arctic Winter Games will be on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly's agenda tonight in the form of appropriations ordinances.

The first is Ordinance 2004-19-20, introduced Oct. 12, accepting and appropriating a $100,000 state grant through the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development. The money is the result of Senate Bill 283 passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Frank Murkowski.

It authorizes the borough to enter an agreement with the Arctic Winter Games Host Society that would enable the group to utilize the funds.

The second is Ordinance 2004-19-24, which will be introduced Tuesday with a hearing set for Nov. 16. This ordinance covers a much larger federal grant of $745,575 to be used to upgrade, repair and improve recreational facilities during the games.

That grant, which comes through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will cover the costs of equipment for an ice rink in Homer, improvements to the Soldotna Sports Center, equipment and improvements to the Tsalteshi Trails, and improvements to the ice rink at the Kenai Multipurpose Facility.

Loren Smith, general manager of the 2006 Arctic Winter Games said the $100,000 grant would largely go to cover operational costs such as salaries, office supplies and equipment.

The larger portion of the $745,575 federal grant will go to a new Homer hockey rink to be built on the Homer Spit. The games will hold the curling competition at the Homer facility, Smith said.

The portion going to the Tsalteshi Trails will be used for renovations, lighting and grooming equipment, while the Kenai ice rink's share will be used to upgrade that facility, which may include temporary shielding from the wind necessary for speed skating competition, Smith said. Also being discussed is whether to put in temporary locker facilities, he said.

The Soldotna Sports Center's portion of the grant may go to improvements to the scoreboard and marquee, but Smith said exactly how the money will be used there had not yet been determined.

Other grants are in the works, Smith said.

"There are some transportation grants coming after the first of the year," he said. "They may cover some paving and improved egress and ingress at some facilities."

The assembly also will take up to measures postponed at the Oct. 12 meeting.

Ordinance 2004-31 will confirm the assessment roll for the Char Subdivision Utility Special Assessment District.

Resolution 2004-106 will establish 11 positions in the Solid Waste Department for the Central Peninsula Landfill. The borough is gearing up to assume management of the landfill, which has been run under a succession of contracts with private-sector contractors.

Under the borough's plan, the Solid Waste Department em-ployees will take over management on Jan. 1, 2005.

In other business, the assembly will: hold public hearings on the following ordinances:

Ordinance 2004-19-12, a measure appropriating $37,500 for the Tyonek Landfill for purchase of a burn box.

Ordinance 2004-19-13, an appropriation of $75,500 and authorizing acquisition of three lots in the Hillcrest Subdivision for an addition to the Central Emergency Services facility.

Ordinance 2004-33, adopting the 2004 Kenai Peninsula Borough All-Hazards Mitigation Plan.

Ordinance 2004-34, a-mending borough code to clarify procedures regarding service area directors' employment.

Ordinance 2004-36, amending borough code to raise the sales tax computation maximum tax from $500 to $1,000. A second hearing is scheduled Nov. 16. The maximum taxable amount has not changed since 1965. According to the borough, raising it to $1,000 would increase revenues by about $1.9 million annually. That revenue could help keep down future property tax mill rate increases, according to the borough.

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