The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly discussed the budget for the 2024 fiscal year at its work session last night.
Next year’s budget is just shy of $7.7 million, nearly $700,000 more than last year. The current plan for the budget however does not include an increase for education funds.
The biggest changes in the proposed budget were for information technology, or IT, parks and recreation, and the emergency preparedness departments. The proposed increases for each were 45%, 105%, and 53%, respectively. For tech, the borough is paying for two versions of tax collection software as they transition from one program to another.
The parks and rec and emergency preparedness departments will receive increased funding to better reflect the amount of time personnel outside those departments are handling duties related to each. There’s currently no dedicated staff for either department.
Assembly member Geoffrey Smith acknowledged that the borough is short staffed in several departments, but was curious what responsibilities needed to be reassigned.
“We have unfilled positions right now and everyone’s picking up additional duties or responsibilities because that’s what people do and that’s what keeps us afloat,” he said. “I’m just trying to get a sense of really, what are our needs when it comes to additional staff?”
The Assembly agreed to discuss the budget again at the next work session.
In closing comments, Assembly members reiterated concerns about the open application process for the mayor.