The Kodiak City Council Discusses how to Balance its Budget

Mitch Borden/KMXT

The Kodiak city council is trying to figure out a way to balance its budget, but finding the right plan hasn’t been easy. At its work session last night, the council didn’t find a solution, but it did schedule a special meeting for September that’ll be dedicated to hammering out a strategy.

One of the things they have to decide is what infrastructure projects the city will prioritize. Mike Tvenge, the city manager, went through a long list of planned infrastructure projects for 2019.

“We have annual sidewalk curb and gutter, that’s $50,000. We have our underground fuel tank inspections, $10,000. We have our dam safety inspection, $80,000.

For that year alone, according to Tvenge, infrastructure projects will cost around 8 million dollars, which the city can’t afford. The council will have to pick and choose the projects that’ll be carried out.  The council also needs to decide ways to generate revenue. Whether that be through raising taxes, cutting exemptions, or something else.

The lack of input from the public on the budget plan concerned some council members. Mayor Pat Branson thinks Kodiak citizens won’t react until some sort of change is made.

“Until you do something, you’re not going to have the public care because no one thinks about this. They’re thinking about how they’re going to pay their rent or you know fix their car or whatever. How they’re going to have day care. Until something happens, it’s human nature not to do anything.”

The city council is hoping their special meeting will be enough time to figure out a workable budget plan. Its goal is to vote on one by the end of September.

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