Assembly to consider spending

Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Several proposed spending packages pending action by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly are scheduled for public hearings at the assembly’s regular meeting in Soldotna today.

One would OK appropriating $160,000 of interest income from bond proceeds to buy equipment for the Central Peninsula Landfill. The interest has been earned on the corpus of just over $7 million in proceeds from bonds authorized in 2003. The money will be used to purchase a loader and additions to a compactor, estimated to cost $100,000, and for additional construction work at the landfill’s new cell.

Construction of the new cell is substantially complete, according to Craig Chapman, borough finance director.

Another $117,500 in school bond interest income is to be appropriated for school capital improvement projects. That money was earned on roughly $7.43 million in bonds issued in 2000 for schools projects, the majority of which were completed by 2003. However, some $1.89 million in unexpended funds and interest remained, and in 2003 much of that money was used to complete five capital projects authorized that year.

In a memo to the assembly, Chapman said all those projects have been completed, and some $117,500 in unappropriated interest income is available for further schools work. The administration has requested the money be used to cover expenses associated with the school water quality/arsenic removal program that were incurred prior to June 1, 2006.

The Bear Creek Fire Service Area is in line for a $75,000 state grant that will be used to help cover the cost of a new water tanker truck. That tanker is estimated to cost about $275,000, and the service area has applied for a federal grant through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to cover the rest. However, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Web site, that grant was not authorized this year.

Other ordinances up for public hearing today would:

· accept and appropriate a $3,154 state grant to complete the update of the borough’s Coastal Management Plan;

· accept and appropriate a state grant of $30,000 for fire station improvements for the Lowell Point Emergency Service Area;

· accept and appropriate a $65,000 state grant for the Diamond Ridge Safety Trail and authorize a sole-source agreement with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, which will conduct a survey of prescriptive rights along Diamond Ridge Road. A trail for nonmotorized vehicles along the stretch is considered necessary for safety reasons.

· provide $30,000 in supplemental service area funding for operations of the Nikiski Senior Center;

· amend the borough code regarding plat waivers;

· eliminate the sunset date of an ordinance which created an appointed Board of Equalization rather than having the assembly sit as the panel. The appointed board has worked well, and the assembly is expected to make the appointment process permanent.

· exempt the city of Seward from borough code provisions governing special assessments for the purpose of creating the proposed Elhard Electrical Improvement District.

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