Kodiak Daily Mirror - Kodiak borough assembly debates initial school budget position
  
Kodiak borough assembly debates initial school budget position
by James Brooks / editor@kodiakdailymirror.com
Jan 30, 2012 | 110 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KODIAK — The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly began the long process of hammering out a 2013 budget on Thursday evening as assembly members debated initial school district funding figures.

The fiscal year for the borough and school district begins July 1 and runs through June 30 of the following year. The borough’s appropriation to the school district supplies about one-quarter of the district’s overall budget, which this year was $45.34 million.

On Thursday, the borough assembly staked out its initial position, appearing to reach a consensus to flat-fund the school district, a move that would effectively cut the district’s budget because more money will be required to pay the district’s debt in 2013.

“We can’t spend money we don’t have,” said assembly member Jerrol Friend.

In 2011, the borough provided $10.25 million to the district. Of that, $9.48 million was a direct transfer.

The school district’s share of property tax revenue is expected to rise about $332,000 this year because of increased assessments. Countering that is a rise in debt payments of about $760,000.

Leaving the borough’s contribution to the district flat would mean less money for direct transfers — but taxpayers would not have to pay more.

If the direct transfers stayed at this year’s levels, just paying extra debt would require a 0.42 mill rate increase, a tax rise of $126 on a $300,000 house. Increasing the direct transfer by 5 percent ($474,000) would require a 0.87 mill rate increase, a rise of $261 on that $300,000 house.

“We all know we’ve got a long ways to go from here,” said Borough Mayor Jerome Selby. “I think we would be ill-advised to actually adopt a resolution. … At the moment there’s a lot up in the air.”

In other business, the borough is preparing to ask the state for another loan through the Alaska Clean Water Fund for the expansion of the borough’s landfill.

In 2005, estimates indicated the project would cost $2.6 million.

On Thursday night, borough manager Rick Gifford said the estimated cost to get through Phase II of the project — not including a required water treatment plant — is $11 million.

Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at editor@kodiakdailymirror.com.
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