City hopes for some federal funding to help with rebuilding Kodiak’s fire station

Kodiak’s fire station sits at 70 feet above sea level, which is in the city’s tsunami inundation zone. (Photo by Mitch Borden/KMXT)

Mitch Borden/KMXT

The Kodiak City Council is closing in on approving its budget for the fiscal year 2019, but at its regular meeting last night it voted to go with a version of the budget that reduces funding for capital projects and draws less money from its fund balance.

This means the council will contribute less to replacing the city’s fire station and other infrastructure improvement projects than it would’ve in earlier drafts. Currently, the fire station isn’t in the best shape. It’s old, it’s also damaged by an earthquake that happened earlier this year, and it’s also located in Kodiak’s tsunami inundation zone.

The city’s looking to raise around $14 million to build a new fire station. The city will have to raise around $13 million to reach its goal with the council’s current budget proposal. Mike Tvenge the Kodiak city manager says he doesn’t expect any help from the state of Alaska, but Kodiak could be in line for some federal funding for the fire station project. He says right now though, that’s up in the air.

Either way, Tvenge says the city’s planning on moving forward with constructing the fire station in the near future with or without outside funding.

“[We’re] going to move forward with regardless and hope for funding, of course, but, you know, sometimes you have to be self-sufficient and do it yourself. So, we’re going to keep moving on. We’re not going to stand back and wait.”

Tvenge says the city hasn’t gotten far into planning how it will raise the money needed for the new fire station if the federal funding doesn’t go through, but a plan is being worked on.

The version of the budget approved by the council puts some limitations on the city incurring debt, but it’s pretty flexible. The budget says the city can incur debt on projects concerning economic development, health and safety improvements, environmental issues, or aesthetic or quality of life.

The city council will hold another public hearing on its budget at its next regular meeting and then have the option to approve it.

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