Borough Assembly discusses hiring consultant to research consolidation

Mitch Borden/KMXT

At its last work session(02/08), the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly discussed hiring a consultant to further explore if the borough and City of Kodiak’s governments should combine. Assemblyman Kyle Crow drafted a resolution that’d direct the borough manager to begin the process of soliciting bids for the research project.

He thinks it’s important to get an outsider’s perspective of the situation between the two municipalities.

“There just coming in here and taking a very objective look at both operations and specifically the economy of it.”

At a previous meeting, an initial report compiled by borough staff was presented to the assembly, but it was suggested to get a more detailed analysis of consolidating the two municipalities, more resources would have to be applied to the project.

Assemblyman Scott Smiley is in favor of the resolution because he thinks it’s time to settle whether or not consolidation is a good idea.

“Well, this is a festering sore in Kodiak and has been since I moved here, which was quite a while ago. So, to lance that boil, keep in the medical metaphor, we need to get a good solid study that tells us which way is up on this.”

The estimated cost of hiring an outside consultant is between $160,000 and $180,000. Assemblywoman Julie Kavanaugh thinks that’s money well spent if consolidation can be researched without causing more friction between the city and the borough.

“I want to make our two groups be efficient and available to each other and I think this is causing a divide and I don’t understand why that is. I think there’s fear involved and I think there’s control involved, but I think having that third party will ease that tension between the two of us.”

The borough assembly will vote on the resolution on Thursday at its regular meeting, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the assembly chambers in the borough building.

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