Author Archives: Rachel Waldholz, KCAW

With taxes on the agenda, Assembly meeting heats up

Taxes have dominated the conversation at the Sitka Assembly in recent months. (Photo courtesy of PixabyTaxes have dominated the conversation at the Sitka Assembly recently, as the city struggles to come up with an additional million dollars for schools. This week’s meeting erupted into a heated debate over the issue -- but there were also hints of some long-term solutions.

Sitka raises water, sewer rates by $6 per month

The Sitka Assembly voted Wednesday night to raise water and wastewater rates. The vote will increase monthly water and sewer bills from $86 to $92.

Assembly passes budget with million dollar shortfall

Sitka is still struggling to come up with funding for the School District and Sitka Community Hospital. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)The Sitka Assembly passed a budget for the coming year on first reading last night (5-27-15). But that budget still has a million-dollar hole. The shortfall is significantly larger than expected even a week ago.

Coast Guard rescues charter passenger near Peril Strait

Crew members from Air Station Sitka shot this video while rescuing a 68-year-old man from a charter fishing vessel on Sunday. (Image courtesy of Coast Guard 17th District Public Affairs)A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued a passenger from a charter fishing boat north of Sitka on Sunday night (5-24-15), after he reported chest pains.

Assembly approves lease-to-sell deal at Gary Paxton Industrial Park

Selling off the park is within the GPIP board's mission: “Unlike other property owned by the 
municipality, the former Alaska Pulp Corporation mill site was acquired not for governmental 
purposes from the state or federal government, but for economic development and disposal."  (GPIP photo)The Sitka Assembly on Tuesday voted to approve a longterm lease at the city's former pulp mill site with Pat Glaab of Alaska & Pacific Packing, or APP - despite a protest from the site's neighbor, processor Silver Bay Seafoods.

Assembly postpones action on tobacco and summer sales tax

The Sitka Assembly voted this week to raise Sitka’s sales tax cap, but they postponed two other proposals -- one to double the tobacco tax, and another to raise the summer sales tax.

Assembly raises sales tax cap over charter fleet’s objections

Deputy Mayor Matt Hunter and Mayor Mim McConnell during Tuesday night's Sitka Assembly meeting. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)The Sitka Assembly voted to increase the sales tax cap from $1500 to $3000 on Tuesday night. The increase is part of an effort to raise an additional million dollars for Sitka’s school system, and came despite passionate objections from charter fishermen.

With retirements, City Hall faces a generational shift

Project Manger Dean Orbison addressed the crowd at the Blue Lake hydro project dedication. It was his last day on the job, before retiring. (Emily Kwong, KCAW)Sitka’s City Hall is in the midst of a generational shift, with a spate of retirements among longtime staff. Those who have retired in April and May alone had racked up 93 years of city service between them.

Blue Lake project dedicated with champagne, cheers and speeches

Project Manager Dean Orbison (left) and Mayor Mim McConnell smashed a bottle of champagne against one of the new, blue turbines. (Emily Kwong/KCAW)State and local officials, including Gov. Bill Walker, gathered in Sitka on Friday (5-8-15) to formally dedicate the Blue Lake dam. The largest public works project in city history, it’s projected to meet the city’s electricity needs for the next thirty years.

MEHS salutes class of 2015

Students graduating from Mt. Edgecumbe High School thanked parents and family members with a rose. (Emily Kwong/KCAW)The Class of 2015 graduated from Mt. Edgecumbe High School today (Thu 5-7-15). Ninety-three students marched in maroon and gold robes, some in high heels and others in mukluks.