Otmeloi

Otmeloi Way is seen in this April 2016 file photo. Drew Herman/Kodiak Daily Mirror

Service Area 1 voters and Otmeloi Way residents will choose whether to expand the service area and take over ownership of the road, but a decision on creating a lighting district will wait another.

The two vote ordinances relate to planned upgrades to Otmeloi Way, including paving, sidewalks and lighting.

The state currently has responsible for the road, but won’t make the upgrades unless the service area takes over after the upgrades are done.

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly approved putting the issue before the voters this fall, but took into consideration concerns about the design of the improved road and resident access with a road that could end up lower in some areas and higher in others.

Assembly member Rebecca Skinner asked that the borough facilitate another meeting with the Department of Transportation to get feedback from residents.

As now written, the delayed ordinance would ask voters about creating a lighting district of the residences on Otmeloi and part of Mallard Way. The lighting district would have responsibility for paying for the operation and maintenance of the streetlights.

But some assembly members think the district should include Antone Way, because that street would benefit from the lights on Otmeloi.

Larry LeDoux said the borough should contribute to the costs, because North Star School is there.

“Why it’s different from most lighting (districts) is that the borough made the decision to put the school right in the middle of this service district,” LeDoux said. “And most of the purpose and need for the lighting is safety for kids who go to that school, and so what we’re asking the service district to do is to carry the entire cost, which is a lot of money for some people, to provide lighting for safe access to a school that they never voted to put there in the first place.”

The borough reportedly uses a workaround to help with current lighting costs, despite not having road powers, by providing funding to the Parent Teacher Association there, which pays for lighting.

The ordinance was postponed to a special meeting Thursday at 6:30 p.m., the day before the deadline to place items on the ballot, so the assembly can work through some of the issues.

Contact staff reporter Julie Herrmann at julie@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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