It looks like the Kodiak City Council will pass the fiscal year 2017 budget as is, but at its regular meeting last night postponed final budget approval to its next regular meeting. City Manager Aimée Kniaziowski explained she recommends the postponement because city staff missed the required public posting notice deadline and wants to be on the safe side.
She said the combined revenues and expenses for all city funds, excluding capital projects, is approximately $35,200,000, which is about 12 and a half percent less than last year.
The council also passed an ordinance that would incorporate a 2.38 percent cost of living increase to the salaries of city employees. The change comes on the heels of discussion among city employees about unionizing.
The council then viewed an amendment to the schedule of fees for water utilities in the city. Kniaziowski said the city ordered both a rate study and a cost of service study, which looks at high-volume users and determines who bears the brunt of the cost for utilities.
Councilman Charlie Davidson spoke in favor of the fee changes.
“If we don’t continue having minimum rate increases, we’re not gonna be prepared to deal with our infrastructure needs down the road, and especially the cost of inflation and the cost of replacing materials and wages and everything. So, it’s a very reasonable increase and the study was quite substantial, so we’re not just raising the rates to be raising them, but for due cause.”
Councilman John Whiddon agreed with Davidson and said the increases will save people money.
“Because it shifts a lot of the burden over to the actual heavy, meted water users who weren’t actually up until this point weren’t carrying their full share of the costs of the system. So, this is actually going to really reallocate the costs to the users, and it’s gonna help the individual households significantly, but it’s also going to reduce their costs and not increase. So, I think this is a much better thing. It was a very well done study.”
The motion to change the schedule of fees passed.
The council’s next work session is set for June 21 and its next regular meeting for June 23.