Approval didn’t come easily.
The two measures were included in the borough’s winter budget amendment, an annual measure that accepts grants and allows payments for projects not included in the annual budget that goes into effect during the summer.
The Baranof Park project, which calls for installation of an artificial turf football field and a new track surface, is being funded through state grants, a contribution from the city of Kodiak and a contribution from the borough. To satisfy the borough’s side of things, Thursday’s budget amendment included a $500,000 appropriation to the project.
The borough’s contribution requires Kodiak Families for Outdoor Recreation, the private group supporting the project, to sign an official agreement with the city. The borough assembly will have to approve that agreement before the money is released.
Thursday’s regular borough meeting included the second reading of the budget amendment and was the last chance for assembly members to comment.
Assembly member Mel Stephens acted first, proposing to remove the Baranof Park project from consideration.
“I cannot tell where the receipts for this project are coming from,” he said. “In order to spend money, you have to know where it is coming from, and I cannot find in this ordinance where it is coming from.”
The removal was supported by assembly member Louise Stutes but no others, and the proposal failed 5-2.
Stephens also raised concerns about funding for the fisheries adviser. The position will be funded half by the city of Kodiak and half by the borough.
The measure approved on Thursday funds the position for one year, but the borough’s fiscal year ends in about six months.
“It looks to me like six months of the borough’s contribution should not be more than $15,000,” Stephens said.
A move by assembly member Jerrol Friend to reduce the funding failed 4-3, with Friend, Stutes and Stephens voting in the minority.
The final vote to approve the budget amendment was 5-2, with Stephens and Stutes against.
Later in the meeting, the assembly voted 6-1 to hire a fisheries adviser under an agreement funded under the budget amendment.
Assembly member Tuck Bonney, the sole vote against the contract, said his vote was a matter of principle. Bonney, assistant manager at Alaska Pacific Seafoods, said in his experience, travel costs will be more than the contract allows.
“Your travel is going to cost a lot more than you think,” he said.
Other council members were enthusiastic about the hiring.
“It’s time Kodiak is an upfront community and not a Johnny-come-lately,” Stutes said.
“I think we need this. I think we need to try this,” said assembly member David Kaplan.
In other business, the assembly:
• Approved the rezoning of a handful of residential lots along Spruce Cape Road from single-family residential to two-family residential.
• Passed a resolution urging the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to use videoconferencing at its meetings.
• Certified the borough’s application to participate in the state sharing program for fisheries taxes.
• Approved the first reading of an ordinance that rezones a lot at the corner of Rezanof Drive and Otmeloi Way from rural residential to business.
The next Kodiak Island Borough Assembly meeting is Jan. 5.
Contact Mirror Editor James Brooks at email@example.com.
In the budget amendment
The budget amendment approved Thursday contains a lengthy list of grants and projects.
• It accepts a $1.02 million grant for a Womens Bay tsunami shelter,
• accepts a $1.275 million grant for planning and design of a long-term care facility,
• accepts a $2 million grant for the Anton Larsen Boat Ramp,
• accepts a $2.18 million grant to provide emergency generators in island schools,
• increases a Karluk warning siren grant to $16,936,
• increases an Akhiok, Ouzinkie and Larsen Bay warning siren grant to $141,703,
• accepts a $45,000 grant for a Chiniak warning siren,
• restores a required $150,000 borough contribution to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center
• and appropriates $500,000 for the Baranof Park renovation project.