Local News

Assembly takes on sewers, sales tax, dogs, software

It could soon be more expensive to flush your toilet.

The Sitka Assembly last night advanced a measure that would raise the base rate for sewer service by 9.5 percent. That would take the rate from about $39 a month to about $42.

The increase is in line with a plan presented to the Assembly last night. It recommends raising rates by the same percentage every year through 2018.

The city says the new rates would help keep enough money on hand to fund improvements needed to the sewer system. The plan studied sewers throughout town, and showed several in need of almost immediate repair. That includes areas near DeGroff Street and Hollywood Way, along with Kimsham, Tilson and Peterson streets.

The increased rates approved last night will get one more reading before becoming official. That’s expected to happen at the next regular meeting, on Nov. 6.

A few more items from last night’s Assembly meeting:

• The city will suspend its sales tax on the two days after Thanksgiving. It’s become something of a tradition in recent years, to promote local shopping.

• The Assembly advanced a measure that would ban dogs from Moller Field or the Kimsham ballfields. City officials say the ban, and the $300 fine it would impose on owners who violate it, are necessary to keep the new sports facilities free of dog waste. But one resident testified last night that he’s a responsible dog owner, and would at least like to see Kimsham remain open to dogs in the winter months.

• Assembly members approved $438,000 dollars to buy new software for city hall. Deputy Finance Director Michael Middleton told the Assembly that the software is old and difficult to use. He said the city offices still use old one-color displays, and that the log-on screen for many employees reads “Copyright 1980.”

24ASSYFOLO                      RONCO                     10-24-12                              AM/PM

READER

Suggested headline:

 

            A few more items from last night’s Assembly meeting:

·        The city will suspend its sales tax on the two days after Thanksgiving. It’s become something of a tradition in recent years, to promote local shopping.

·        The Assembly advanced a measure that would ban dogs from Moller Field or the Kimsham ballfields. City officials say the ban, and the $300 fine it would impose on owners who violate it, are necessary to keep the new sports facilities free of dog waste. But one resident testified last night that he’s a responsible dog owner, and would at least like to see Kimsham remain open to dogs in the winter months.

·        Assembly members approved $438,000 dollars to buy new software for city hall. Deputy Finance Director Michael Middleton told the Assembly that the software is old and difficult to use. He said the city offices still use old one-color displays, and that the log-on screen for most employees reads “Copyright 1980.”

###

Recent News

Gorman: Managing ‘conflicting expectations’ in Sitka

Mark Gorman. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)
6 months into his tenure as municipal administrator, Mark Gorman says Sitka is going to become more self-reliant -- through a combination of increasing local revenues and exploiting economic opportunities. Gorman spoke to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce Wednesday afternoon (4-23-13). He discussed the unrealistic expectations Sitkans may have about the community’s relatively low tax rates, as more and more of the burden of paying for services shifts to local taxpayers. But Gorman also pointed out opportunities for efficiency and growth. more

Assembly approves Centennial Hall design

An architect's rendering of the renovated Harrigan Centennial Hall (Courtesy of McCool Carlson Green)
The assembly voted 7-0 to approve the architects’ full plan, which includes a new space for the Sitka Historical Museum, larger meeting rooms, and an ambitious overhaul of the building’s exterior, including new landscaping on the hall’s south side. more