Assembly Focuses on Budget at Work Session


Erik Wander/KMXT

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly reviewed its fiscal year 2010 draft annual operating budget at its work session last night. While discussion and analysis focused on the overall budget, including the general fund, it was mostly concentrated on special revenue funds, debt service enterprise funds and capital projects funds.

City Manager Rick Gifford said he was pleasantly surprised by the numbers given the state and the country’s current economic woes.

(Budget 1 40 sec. "It has been an interesting … in our strategic plan.")

Karl Short, finance director for the borough, said the draft budget is balanced and leaves the borough in the black by the end of fiscal year 2010, within its target balance.

(Budget 2 34 sec. "This draft budget … million dollars in fund balance.")

One item in the budget that generated a lot of discussion was 36,000 dollars annually to maintain the school building in Chiniak that is no longer in use. Woody Koning, director of the borough’s Engineering and Facilities Department said the community is working on reducing that amount so that the building can remain a school for future use in the hopes that student numbers will rise in the near future.

(Budget 3 40 sec. "They’re working on that 36,000 dollars significantly.")

Gifford said he consulted with the Alaska Department of Education about the matter, and said that once the building is turned over to the borough, there’s no turning back.

(Budget 4 32 sec. "Once they turn it over … and those kinds of things.")

Bob Tucker, maintenance coordinator for the Engineering and Facilities Department, said that given past experience, it would be wise to continue to maintain the old Chiniak school, because the re-opening of the school is always a possibility.

(Budget 5 26 sec. "We had Karluk closed … and those kinds of things.")

Other items in the budget that were discussed included parks and recreation, tourism development, metal recycling and the Kodiak Arts Council. Assembly members agreed that the draft budget can use some fine tuning, but that it was a good start. The assembly will hold its next regular meeting Thursday May 7th.


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