UAA’s ISER hired by city for annexation study

The City of Kodiak took another step toward the possible annexation of neighboring service areas last week when the City Council authorized a contract with UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research, or ISER, to examine the impact of annexation.

Will annexation have a positive, negative, or even a neutral fiscal effect on these areas and the city? What changes to taxes would be needed? That’s what ISER hopes to find out.

The study will take ISER several months to complete, but City Council member John Whiddon thinks the contract is a worthwhile investment.

“This will also open the doors to better collaboration with the borough government and the means to do that. This will give us some documentation and some solid facts that we can use move forward in an informed way.”

The $35,000 contract will also provide the city a report on how annexation meets the guidelines of the Local Boundary Commission, the state government department that oversees how Alaska municipalities are formed.

The area of annexation-interest includes Kodiak’s Service Area 1, where many residents already receive and pay for some city services, such as water and sewer services. Service Area 1 is home to nearly 3,000 residents, and if annexed, would make the City of Kodiak one of the largest cities in Alaska.

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