The Kodiak City Council is working out which city-wide projects are the most important for the fiscal year 2017. At its work session Tuesday night, it discussed its capital improvements program priority list, which it will send along with funding requests to the legislature and Governor Bill Walker.
As of Tuesday, the top five priorities in order of importance were: the Mill Bay Road rehabilitation project, Shelikof Street bulkhead parking, Shelikof street pedestrian improvements from Pier II to downtown Kodiak, the state municipal matching grant and harbor facilities grant programs, and state revenue sharing.
According to the meeting packet, the money the city is requesting for the Shelikof street pedestrian improvements from Pier II to downtown would go towards a visitor center at the pier. Councilman John Whiddon took issue with the price tag of $1,100,000.
“I have a real hard time advocating for number three given the nature of the project and just the expense, so if there’s an opportunity here for something in the smaller range to replace that, in the quarter million dollar range, I think we’re being fiscally responsible and really reflecting the times, and take number 3 and go back over between now and next year, take time to review that and maybe re-scope that to a more valuable level.”
City manager Aimée Kniaziowski said there are smaller projects that could use the financial help.
“One of the small projects I thought about that’s not on here – we were not successful before … asking for funding … to help us purchase a new ambulance. We looked and looked for one. And we cover the entire road system all the way out to the missile launch facility at no cost to the borough. Those are very expensive.”
She said she would speak with city staff about other possible projects.
The council also discussed a loitering ordinance, which Kniaziowski said covers a request from the Downtown Revitalization Committee and others concerned about some of downtown Kodiak’s disruptive transient population. As discussed in past meetings, some community members who work in the area have complained of harassment. Kniaziowski explained the ordinance would seek to remedy the problem.
“It would prohibit assault, obstruction of sidewalks and buildings, panhandling, sitting or lying on a sidewalk between certain hours of the day. It also adds a fine schedule so that these individuals that were cited, they would be paying a fine.”
Kodiak Police Department Chief of Police, Ronda Wallace, said having the ordinance in the city code with language specifying which behaviors are prohibited would support KPD efforts downtown.
“This gives us the ability that we go down and we find these actions that have happened, we see them, we can cite the individuals. So, you have your first and your second and your third offenses, and then what I imagine can happen from there is that, if these aren’t acted upon, then there could be a summons that could come out, or there could be an arrest warrant that comes out.”
The Kodiak City Council also discussed limitations on mobile home park operators’ right to terminate, which Councilman Gabriel Saravia and another council member brought to the table for consideration. The document is under the landlord-tenant act in state code.
Kniaziowski paraphrased that the code says the municipal government can force the owner to give additional time before tenants are evicted. They also may establish a mobile home relocation fund and require that the affected tenant be given a longer notice period or compensated from the fund for the cost of relocating.
“The Jackson Mobile Home Park is outside the city limit as we all know, but this did come up as I understand it, that there was a tenant that was concerned that, okay, if we locate to a place in the city – if they close down, then what happens? So, that was requested to be brought forward.”
Council members seemed split over whether to pursue enacting the code now or to wait for when the need arises, and the council decided it would get legal advice.
The city council also reviewed the letter the Kodiak Fisheries Work Group would like to send to the University of Alaska president to request that the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center stay open despite budget cuts. The city council approved the draft without discussion.
The Kodiak City Council’s regular meeting is scheduled for tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the assembly chambers.