Kodiak Borough Assembly Shuffles Funding Priorities


Jacob Resneck/KMXT

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly shifted the order of its state funding wish list following more than an hour of public testimony. KMXT’s Jacob Resneck was there and filed this report.

— (assembly 3:16 "Remaining number one … assessment. I’m Jacob Resneck.")

Remaining number one on the list is a $15.5 million dollar request toward a new high school projected to cost $80 million dollars.

Number two on the list is a $1,275,000 request toward a new long-term care facility.

The public hearing opened after nearly twenty helmeted bicyclists pedaled to the Borough Building to show their support for $1,590,000 from the state toward building a paved path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Boosters of the project speaking Thursday night included residents Skip Bolton and Sandra West.

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The total cost is projected to be more than $11 million dollars but the borough has proposed building the path in phases starting with a path from the city boundary near Deadman’s Curve to the Coast Guard Base.

But other speakers questioned the wisdom of ranking a bike path over building an emergency shelter for the Womens Bay Community. Ranked as priority number six, the borough is asking the state for $1,025,000 for the shelter.

Womens Bay Area Service Board member Dave Conrad reminded the assembly that his community was cut off for nearly 24 hours during last fall’s mudslides that were declared a federal disaster.

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His concern was echoed by Womens Bay Fire Chief Dale Rice. He said the existing firehouse is wholly inadequate for serving the community of 700 people in many types of emergencies.

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Apparently moved by this testimony the assembly agreed to rank the shelter as number three, moving the bike path to the number four slot.

Assemblywoman Chris Lynch who lives in Bell’s Flats recalled last October’s mudslides in explaining her reasoning for supporting the shuffle.

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Her colleagues said they agreed and unanimously voted to upgrade the emergency shelter to number three on the list. The new order now currently stands with the high school remaining first, the long-term care facility second, the emergency shelter third and the bike path number four.

Borough Manager Rick Gifford said the priority list would be sent to Juneau next week.

In other business, the Assembly changed the filing date for property taxes to a month earlier. The date is now January 15 giving dissatisfied taxpayers more time to appeal their assessment.

I’m Jacob Resneck.

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