Last night’s joint meeting between the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly and the Kodiak City Council featured impassioned testimony from the community’s biggest sports fans. Coaches, students and parents stepped up to the podium to ask local government to help fund a $4.275-million project at Baranof Park that would build new athletic fields to withstand Kodiak’s soggy weather.
All who spoke during the public comment period were in favor of the project. However, a few people were careful to note that the new facility would require a comprehensive "Fair Use Policy." The only voices of dissent were those of council member John Whiddon and assembly member Carol Austerman who – in response to testimony that the park upgrade was necessary and owed to the community – said that it was more of a want and not a need, though they didn’t oppose the project.
The State of Alaska has allocated $2-million for the project. The current proposal outlines the project in two phases. The first phase would use the state money and $500,000 from both the borough and city governments. The remaining funds needed-about $1.3-million – could be requested from the state during the next legislative session.