Council discusses annexation at its work session

The City of Kodiak sign at the Kodiak Island Borough Building. (Photo by Mitch Borden/KMXT)

Mitch Borden/KMXT

At the Kodiak City Council’s work session last night, deputy city manager Matt Van Daele presented information about the city annexing land outside its limits. The area discussed includes Service District Area Number 1 and Fire Protection Area Number 1. The city is researching to see if there are any benefits to adding more land to its boundaries.

Councilman John Whiddon says the council needs to answer an important question before deciding what it wants to do.

“What are we trying to achieve with this?”

Mayor Pat Branson said in the past when the council discussed annexation its goal was to increase the city’s tax base. But right now she’s not sure what the council’s objective is. Councilman Rich Walker said according to his memory that was why the council wanted to explore the topic.

“Well yeah, I think that was part of the thinking is to expand the tax base. I want to see hard numbers on what if it’s worthwhile for us to even go there and get that done first and then make our decision.”

The council asked staff to look into the costs and benefits of the city moving forward with annexation. A few council members worry that annexation could potentially cost the city rather than help it generate revenue. The council’s also curious if the city could provide services, like policing, outside its boundaries without annexing land.

If the council eventually does decide to pursue annexation it would have to be voted on by city residents and those living in the proposed annexed area, says deputy city manager Van Daele. But Mayor Branson said the council’s not making any rash decisions and is just doing research right now.

 

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