The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will address a long list of ordinances up for public hearings at today's meeting in Soldotna.
Assembly members also are expected to hear quarterly updates from Central Peninsula General Hospital and from the Arctic Winter Games Host Society.
Those Winter Games, planned for 2006, are the focus of one of 10 ordinances on the public hearing list. Ordinance 2004-19-24 would accept and appropriate a major federal grant of $745,575 to be used to build or enhance recreational facilities that will host 2006 competitive contests.
The list of projects includes 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.
The grant, received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, would pay for upgrades, repairs and improvements to bring the venues up to safe, competitive standards.
Also up for a public hearing is Ordinance 2004-36, which would amend the borough code's sales tax computation rules. Currently, borough sales taxes can be applied only to the first $500 of a purchase price. Thus, if an appliance costs, say $1,500, the buyer pays sales tax on only $500 because of the cap. It has been capped there since 1965. Adjusted for inflation, that $500 is worth the equivalent of $1,801.70 in today's dollars, according to borough Finance Director Scott Holt.
The ordinance would raise the cap to $1,000, a levy that could be expected to produce an additional $1.9 million in tax revenues.
"These funds could be used to minimize future property tax increases that may result from decreasing revenue streams," Holt told the assembly in a Sept. 30 memo.
Collectively, borough cities would see a revenue increase of about $1 million, he said.
If adopted, the ordinance would go into effect on Jan. 1.
The increase in the tax cap was considered in Ordinance 2004-13 but was not adopted. Holt said it was being introduced again "in light of the anticipated significant reduction in the borough general fund following final state budgetary actions and adoption of the borough budget."
Other ordinances up for hearing include:
Ordinance 2004-19-14, appropriating supplemental funding of $17,824 to cover septic system repairs and workers compensation insurance costs in the Nikiski Senior Service Area;
Ordinance 2004-19-15, appropriating funds for a three-quarter-time senior clerk typist for the Coastal Management Program;
Ordinance 2004-19-16, appropriating a $10,000 state grant for a flashing warning light for the Funny River Emergency Services facility;
Ordinance 2004-19-17, appropriating a state grant of $7,000 for a sign at the Nikiski North Star Elementary School;
Ordinance 2004-19-18, appropriating a state grant of $10,000 for distance-learning equipment for the South Peninsula Hospital Service Area;
Ordinance 2004-19-19, appropriating a state grant of $70,000 for purchase of a tanker truck for the Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Service Area;
Ordinance 2004-19-21, appropriating $275,000 to purchase heavy equipment for the Central Peninsula Landfill; and
Ordinance 2004-35, amending borough code to provide for economic summaries (also called fiscal notes) to be attached to proposed ordinances.
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