Schools Flat Funded – Cuts Made Elsewhere in Borough Budget


Maggie Wall/KMXT

The mill rate will go up slightly, some services will be cut, and the schools will be flat funded.

That’s how the Kodiak Island Borough’s budget shapes up following Thursday night’s special assembly meeting to approve the Fiscal Year 2012 budget.

KMXT’s Maggie Wall has details.

(Boro FY2011 3:47 "The KIB Assembly..Kodiak’s projects.")

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly last night approved a budget for next fiscal year – which begins July 1st – at a mill rate of 10-point-75. That’s up only slightly from the current 10-point-5 mills.

School funding will be $10-point-25 million dollars, which is substantially more than the borough’s original approved amount. Last month the borough committed a minimum of $8.5 million to schools, which upset a lot of people from students to parents to school administrators, but assembly members said at the time that they needed to get the borough’s budget under control before committing any more to schools.

Since then the assembly, the borough manager, and department heads have crunched and cut and crunched and came up with a budget that seems to make everyone involved – if not happy – at least feeling OK about the outcome.

Assembly woman Louise Stutes had been critical of the manager’s proposed budget, but was pleased with the final outcome:

(Louise :31 "I think we … feeling pretty good about this.")

Kodiak Island Borough School Superintendent Stewart McDonald said he would have liked more, but is thankful the borough didn’t make the cuts originally proposed. He also says he’s hoping the governor will come through with money to make up some of the shortfall.

(Stewart :41 "Believe the governor … back in January.")

Someone said that the budget process is kind of like a waterbed. There’s only so much water in there and if you want more at one end, you’ve got to push down someplace else on the bed.

In order to give the schools more money than originally approved, other things had to take the shallow end of the water bed. Borough Manager Rick Gifford said an open administrative position will not be filled. Plus, the borough will no longer fund animal control, a responsibility the borough has shared with the City of Kodiak for years:

(Rick :35 "The budget … cut some services.")

Also getting the ax was the borough’s junk vehicle removal program and the annual reception in Juneau to score private time with legislators and to promote Kodiak’s projects.

I’m Maggie Wall.


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