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.
A species of fern common in Asia has been found in Southeast Alaska. But unlike invasive species, Wright’s filmy fern is an early colonizer. And figuring out how and when it got here is the next piece of the puzzle.
The federal government is proposing to remove most humpback whales from the endangered species list. Forty-five years after the whales were first listed, federal scientists say that most humpback populations -- including those common in Alaska - are stable and growing.
The Sitka School Board’s decision to cut the Community Schools program drew a protest from the city last week (4-15-15). That disagreement led the board to postpone a final vote on the district budget.
The doors of one of the oldest family-owned stores in Sitka closed last month. Brenner’s Fine Clothing and Gifts has been a staple on Lincoln Street for the past 65 years.
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.
A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued a hiker early Saturday morning (4-11-15) after she went missing from a lodge on Chichagof Island.
The Sitka School Board's budget assumes the city will increase its funding by $1-million this year. Now, the Assembly is considering where that money might come from. Options range from eliminating sales tax exemptions to cutting library hours to putting a tax increase on the October ballot.