The Kodiak City Council heard about what to do with almost $400,000 of grant funding for a pathway and discussed funding nonprofits.
The money was originally expected go toward a $2.9 million path from Pier 2 to Deadman’s Curve, but the entire cost for the path quickly grew to more than $5 million, said City Manager Aimée Kniaziowski during Wednesday’s council work session.
With the deadline for using the money coming up in June 2016, Kodiak needs to come up with a project and start using the money or the city could lose it, said Debi Kruse, a grants administrator with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.
Based on the language in the legislative appropriation that gave the money, the funding has to be used for some sort of pathway that benefits tourism.
“What’s important is to think how can you come to consensus on what you want to do with this and how can we be able to show that this is essentially enhancing the experience that cruise ship visitors have when they come to Kodiak,” Kruse said. “Then by default, all of the residents of Kodiak Island also benefit from it, so you get that benefit daily, the cruise ship people get it when they come in.”
The project wouldn’t have to be completed by June 2016, but Kruse said the city would need to show that they have selected a project and begun work on it in order for a renewal of the grant to be considered.
During the work session, the council members and mayor mentioned pedestrian improvements along Shelikof Street, a stairway or graded path up the hill between Rezanof Drive and Erskine Avenue, a path to the Kodiak Public Library, improvements to the Near Island trails, and a path from downtown to Near Island as potential uses for the funds.
Kruse said the council should discuss and decide on a project by January at the latest.
In other business, the council began discussing funding for nonprofits.
The nonprofits requested more than $215,000 while the city budgeted $149,900, which is based on one percent of general fund revenue after mandatory allocations are removed, according to the council’s packet.
For now, the council is considering funding two museum requests through bed tax funds allocated to tourism and eliminating a new request to get closer to their cap, and if the total requests is still over budget, reducing the amount requested by each nonprofit a proportional amount. They will also be talking to several nonprofits about some concerns with their requests.
The council also discussed a conditional use permit for quarrying on Near Island.
The permit from the Kodiak Island Borough, which the Planning and Zoning Commission will be considering at their Aug. 12 work session and Aug. 19 meeting, is for a 9.5 acre expanded quarry area that did not receive borough approval when the city approved it and resulted in encroachment outside the industrial-zoned land into conservation-zoned land.
During the work session, Kniaziowski said it was an oversight by the city, which was unaware of the encroachment.
She also said it was not the fault of the companies operating in the quarry, who are operating within the agreements they have with the city.
In the fall, the council will start working on a plan for Near Island to include public comment.
The council also discussed laws about mobile homes and potential waiving of fees for moving mobile homes. Council members decided to wait on the issue until they received more information from the Kodiak Island Borough.
Julie Herrmann is a staff reporter at the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Contact her at 486-3227 et. 627.