The fate of a memorandum of agreement with the borough for building inspections and talk about consolidation are on the Kodiak City Council’s packed agenda for a Tuesday work session.

The council will discuss an initiative that places consideration of consolidating Kodiak’s borough and city governments before the voters in October. Last week, the assembly approved ballot question of whether to “pursue the idea of consolidating the Kodiak Island Borough and the City of Kodiak into a single unit of government.”

The vote would be non-binding, but, according to some assembly members, would serve to gage public sentiment to determine whether more time should be spent looking into the possibility.

The council submitted a letter to the borough prior to the vote, asking the assembly to discuss the prospect with council members in a joint work session before deciding on the matter.

In another area of contention with the borough, the council will discuss possible termination of a building inspection memorandum of agreement between the two bodies.

The agreement, which dates back to 1988, authorizes the city’s building department to conduct building inspections boroughwide. It was called into question by city employees following the assembly’s decision to revert back to the 1997 uniform building code. The city continues to operate under the 2012 codes. 

Retired city building official Doug Mathers was outspoken in his disapproval of the borough’s decision to revert to the old codes, writing to council members that the borough’s new guidelines could lead to difficulties in implementing two different building codes, reductions in ISO ratings and refusal by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation to finance homes.

In a June 7 work session, city manager Amiée Kniaziowski also brought up concerns about city and employee liability if something were to go wrong in a borough residence inspected under the old code.

Termination of the agreement appears on the agenda for the Thursday regular meeting, as well.

In other business, council is expected to give further direction regarding harbor rate increases. Members voted to postpone voting on the increases in a June regular meeting to buy more time for discussion on how they would like to reach revenue goals. 

The council will hear the second in a series of four presentations from city finance director Kelly Mayes related to revenue building. Tuesday’s presentation will focus on business licenses and permits. A June presentation focused on sales tax, while future presentations will cover alternative revenue sources and planning.

A presentation by DOWL engineering firm is scheduled on the planning and design process for Near Island development and the pedestrian pathway. The firm will not present a single design for each project, but rather will update council members on the work completed thus far and seek council advice on the path forward, according to Michelle Ritter of DOWL.

A Madsen Bear presentation and report on communication site leases are also scheduled.

The work session will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Kodiak Public Library multipurpose room.

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