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 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.
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.
The Sitka Assembly voted down a proposed electric rate increase at its meeting Tuesday night. But that doesn’t mean rates aren’t going up. The real question isn’t whether rates will rise, but by how much. And city staff have found some creative ways to soften the impact.
After an unexpectedly warm winter left the Electric Department $1-million short, Sitkans may be looking at an increase as high as 15- or 20-percent.
The Sitka Assembly was told on Tuesday that without city support, the system will likely have to cut hours -- or even a full bus line.
On Tuesday night, Sitka passed one of the first marijuana ordinances in the state. The ordinance passed on the day that marijuana use became legal in Alaska -- and just hours after the state issued its own emergency regulations.
The Sitka School Board -- as usual -- is entering its annual budget cycle facing a significant deficit. But unlike past years, there’s no silver bullet from either the state or federal governments that’s likely to save the day.
Rates for both transient and permanent slip holders will go up by 6.68%. The increase is effective immediately for transient users. For resident vessels, it will go into effect on April 15.