Kodiak Daily Mirror - Borough takes first step toward funding Baranof Park improvements
  
Borough takes first step toward funding Baranof Park improvements
by James Brooks / editor@kodiakdailymirror.com
Dec 02, 2011 | 111 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KODIAK — The Kodiak Island Borough took a step forward on two long-awaited projects Thursday night by approving the first reading of a budget amendment that includes funding for Baranof Park improvements and a fisheries adviser.

The fisheries adviser funding, which has been debated for much of the year, and $500,000 for the park project are contingent on action by the city of Kodiak. The city is splitting the cost of each item with the borough.

The budget measure still has to be re-approved at the assembly’s Dec. 15 regular meeting. Funding for the park project almost missed being included at all, due to assembly questions at a work session earlier this week.

Several members of the assembly wanted to hold a separate vote on the park project, rather than bundling it with other funding items in the budget.

“I know there’s support on the assembly to get it done, and I don’t want to throw a wrench into things ... I just felt we didn’t have a public hearing on it,” said assembly member Tuck Bonney, who voiced his reluctance before sponsoring an amendment to include the park project in the budget amendment.

That amendment was approved by the assembly 4-2, with members Mel Stephens and Louise Stutes opposed and member Jerrol Friend absent.

Stephens said allocating money for the park project but not granting permission to spend it doesn’t make sense.

“The very nature of a budget ordinance is to appropriate funds for a particular purpose,” he said. “Saying ‘Well, let’s put it in the budget ... but I’m not saying you can spend it until I tell you you can spend it’ is illogical.”

The same 4-2 majority approved the overall spending plan, which includes $40,000 for the fisheries adviser and tens of thousands of dollars for the Kodiak High School expansion and renovation project. The budget amendment also includes the acceptance of several million dollars in grants for the high school project and other improvements across the Kodiak school district.

In other business, the borough assembly turned down an ordinance that would have codified changes to the borough’s participation in the state employee retirement program for assembly members. Much of the assembly felt the changes were not necessary, and voted 4-2 against changing the measure.

The borough assembly also:

• Voiced no objections to the annual renewal of liquor licenses in the area.

• Approved the vacation of a right of way along Perenosa Drive.

• Confirmed Jared Griffin’s appointment to the Kodiak Workforce Regional Advisory Council.

• Approved the rezoning of a handful of residential lots on Spruce Cape Road from single-family residential to two-family residential.

• Approved the second reading of an ordinance that fixes a section of borough code that incorrectly calls several island settlements villages.

• Approved the naming of Pat Branson, Steve Honnold and Ken Knowles to the Providence Kodiak Island Service Area Community Board.

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