planes

ALEX APPEL/Kodiak Daily Mirror

Float planes docked at the Trident Basin Airport.

Renovations at the Kodiak Municipal Airport and Trident Basin Airport may continue for the next few years. At a special meeting Dec. 21, the City Council voted to accept $44,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration from their Airport Rescue Grant. This money, which will be split evenly between the two airports, was given to the city to keep airports running and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in them. 

“This is an opportunity to make improvements to make our airports better for its users,” City Manager Mike Tvenge said.

This is the third time the City of Kodiak has received money from the Federal Aviation Administration. Earlier this year, the Federal Aviation Administration gave airports $40,000 and later $18,000 to split evenly as a part of the Airport Rescue Grant. 

Some of the money has already been put to use. The electronic gate at the Kodiak Municipal Airport has been repaired and the city is in the process of replacing one of the ramps at the Trident Basin Airport, according to Tvenge.

The municipal airport would benefit from more hangars and runways at Trident Basin need repairs, according to Tvenge. Acquiring new equipment, updating utilities and repaving runways are among the approved uses of the grant. Despite this, it is not clear what role the grant money may play in these large projects, he said. The city has time to figure it out, according to Tvenge. The city has four years to spend the money, so it has the time to carefully make plans, Tvenge said. 

This may not be the last round of grant money that the airports receive. The city’s lobbyists recently indicated that each airport is likely to see another $110,000 for improvements at the start of the new year, according to Tvenge. 

At the Dec. 21 special meeting, the City Council went into an executive session to discuss how to implement the findings of a worker compensation study that it participated in. The city joined the study to find out ways to reduce staff turnover, which is currently around 22%. The study compared the salaries, insurance policies, vacation days and other benefits that city employees had to those offered in 12 other municipal governments. 

According to the study, the City of Kodiak pays the majority of its employees less than the average salary of the 12 other communities, after adjusting for cost of living. This includes firefighter EMTs, police sergeants and lieutenants, and public safety dispatchers. However, the City of Kodiak offers more paid time off and more extensive health insurance plans than most of the other communities studied. 

The city plans to present a recommended course of action to be discussed at council meetings at the start of next month, according to Tvenge.

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