The Kodiak City Council tonight (Thursday) takes up two money issues that have drawn a lot of community support, the annual distribution of funds for local non-profit organizations and the acceptance of nearly $7 million from the state for the new library.
The city has roughly $118,000 designated for support of 25 local organizations. The non-profits provide services ranging from youth activities to emergency shelter for the homeless.
Council members have repeatedly stated that the local non-profits can provide many services the city can’t – and that they provide more bang for the taxpayers’ buck than what the city could do itself.
Construction of the new Kodiak library would take a huge step forward tonight if the council accepts a $7 million state capital improvements grant. The library was one of a number of local projects that survived the governor’s veto pen. The legislature authorized funding for nearly half of the projected $13.6 million dollar project.
A person might be tempted to say accepting nearly $7 million from the state is a no-brainer. But given all the challenges the community is facing paying for other major capital projects, council members are being caution. At Tuesday’s work session, council members wanted to make sure that the city would, indeed, have the money to finish the project before accepting the state’s money. Several council members said Tuesday that they did not want the city to find itself in a position of having to scramble to come up with the rest of the money to pay for the project.
The Kodiak Public Library Association has been active in helping to secure funding for the library. The council expressed confidence the library funding would come together — but also made plans to strategize a long-term fiscal plan for the city.
Tonight’s regular city council meeting begins at 7:30 in the borough assembly chamber. As always, it will be broadcast live here on KMXT.