Council Debates Baranof Park Funding


Jennifer Canfield/KMXT

Advisory board interviews, a review of finances, discussion about the Baranof Park improvements and plans for the new library made for a full agenda at last night’s Kodiak City Council work session.

Finance Director Mary Monk presented the city’s balance sheets at the meeting. She says that while revenues are steady, costs are rising. Monk says FY 2012 saw a 40 percent increase in health insurance costs alone and suspects they will continue to rise.

When discussion of the Baranof Park improvements came up, council member Terry Haines brought up the city’s budget concerns. He suggested cutting project costs by fixing the field’s drainage problem and planting grass, instead of installing the artificial surface.

(CC 1 Dec 7 :39 "I think we can run our …and it’s costing us that much more money.")

City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski suggested taking the $500,000 needed to help fund the improvements from the city’s enhancement fund. She said another option would be to put a bond on the ballot and have residents vote on it, though she didn’t think that would help.

(CC 2 Dec 7 :12 "I know that would be … I wouldn’t recommend that.")

Concerns were expressed that the enhancement fund has been decreasing. Kniaziowski assured the council that the fund was there for these kinds of expenses.

(CC 3 Dec 7 :13 "I can recommend … used for capital projects.")

Kodiak Public Library Association’s Leslie Leyland Fields and Dan Ogg gave an overview of their current efforts. Included in the council’s agenda packets were the proposed designs for the new library which included two floor plans, two roof types and three site plan parking layouts. KPLA says they are on track to complete the design by July 2012. So far they’ve raised $9.1 million toward the cost of the new library. KPLA is considering asking the council for $2 million toward the remaining $3.4 million that they need.

The council’s next regular meeting is this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the borough assembly chambers.


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