Author Archives: Rachel Waldholz, KCAW
Sitka’s electric rates are going up, but not as much as they might have. The Sitka Assembly on Monday chose the smaller of two potential rate hikes, by a vote of 4 to 3. A household using about 1000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each month will see their electric bill go up by about $8 a month.
This spring, Sitka artist and marine mammal hunter Peter Williams took a trip to New York City, to show his work during fashion week. He's been trying to break into the lucrative fashion world for years. His goal is to bring Alaska Native designs to luxury buyers worldwide. Williams says that one way to save a traditional art form, is to create a market for it.
After more than a year of warning that Sitka must either raise new revenue or cut services, the City Assembly passed three tax measures in quick succession last night / Tuesday night (4-28-15). The proposals would increase sales taxes and double the tobacco tax. The movement was prompted by the needs of the Sitka School District.
Sitkans should expect electric rates to rise this year, but it’s not clear yet by how much. The assembly passed two separate rate increases, on first reading. One would raise rates all at once, while the other would likely spread the increase over several years.
The Sitka Assembly gave City Administrator Mark Gorman and City Attorney Robin Koutchak high marks at their annual evaluations on Tuesday night (4-21-15). And while a good evaluation usually means a pay raise, both of Sitka’s top officials declined to take any more salary, in light of next year’s unusually tight budget.
The Assembly voted Tuesday night to put the Centennial Hall renewal project out to bid. The renovation will expand the building’s meeting and convention spaces and create a new, second entrance on the waterfront. Assembly members stressed that the project is being paid for entirely with state grants -- not with city money.
The Assembly put off a discussion of whether to raise electric rates until a special meeting on April 23. And while assembly members expressed support for finding an additional $1-million for Sitka schools, they couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for any of the specific proposals before them.