Borough Assembly Passes $36-Million Budget

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Erik Wander/KMXT

After some final adjustments, the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly passed its roughly 36-million dollar fiscal year 2010 budget in a five-to-one vote at its regular meeting last (Thursday) night. While the borough managed to avoid a property tax increase of a quarter-mill, one assembly member and some members of the community expressed their concerns about the borough’s expanding budget.

Included in the budget are revenues and expenditures in the general fund, special revenue, debt service, capital project and enterprise funds. Of these, the general fund represented the largest portion of the budget at 16-point-six million dollars.

Speaking during the public hearing on the budget ordinance, Mel Stevens said he was troubled by the borough’s ever-growing budget, which he said he has studied extensively over the past 16 years.

(Budget 1 53 sec. "Your present budget is about … around 125 percent.")

Assemblywoman Louise Stutes, who cast the assembly’s sole dissenting vote on the budget ordinance, said she is alarmed that the budget continues to increase each year, particularly given the times.

(Budget 2 36 sec. "The majority of cities … in formulating this budget.")

Noting that early versions of the budget included a mill rate increase, assemblywoman Pat Branson defended the budget as amended. She said the assembly had a month to discuss the budget and that finding ways to decrease it should have been done during that period.

(Budget 3 30 sec. "The assembly has discussed this … and so is the budget.")

Final adjustments included an increase of 35-thousand dollars in non-profit funding, 12-thousand dollars for the school crossing guard program, five-thousand, four-hundred dollars for the North Star PTA for safety lighting and 20-thousand, two-hundred dollars for state revenue sharing for the Village of Karluk. The budget also included funding for the new position of code enforcement officer in the amount of about 100-thousand dollars, including salary and benefits, which was distributed among various funds.

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