Tag Archives: Sitka Assembly

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.

Assembly chooses lower rate hike and Sitka gets creative to pay for its dam

“One of the dangers there, as oil prices continue to go up, is that people will start to shift over to electricity, and all that additional capacity that you’ve gained by raising the dam will just go into existing inefficient buildings, or into new inefficient buildings," says Jon Heller. (Blue Lake Expansion photo/Desiree Brandis)After a month of discussion, the Sitka Assembly settled on a modest electric rate increase. Residential rates will go up by about 6% in the coming year, to pay for the Blue Lake dam. And when it comes to figuring out how a town of 9,000 pays off a $150-million hydroelectric project, city staff are getting creative.

Sitka Assembly chooses smaller electric rate increase

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.

Sitka Budget: City says utility rates must rise

This chart compares current monthly utility costs with two proposals before the Sitka Assembly. Option 1 reflects Ordinance 15-23, which would raise electric rates for an average Sitka household by about 6% this year. Option 2 reflects Ordinance 15-17, which would raise electric rates by about 23%. Both options include a 10% increase in water rates, a 4.9% increase in wastewater rates, and a 13% increase in solid waste rates. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)It's not just electric rates - Sitka is also proposing increases in water, sewer and garbage rates. KCAW's Rachel Waldholz is tracking the city budget. She sat down with News Director Robert Woolsey to break down the numbers.

Assembly considers tobacco, sales tax hikes

Deputy Mayor Matt Hunter and Mayor Mim McConnell during Tuesday night's Sitka Assembly meeting. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)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.

Assembly approves electric rate hikes on first reading

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.

Assembly gives high marks to City Administrator, Attorney

City Administrator Mark Gorman, speaking with the assembly at his evaluation, on April 22, 2015. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)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.

School Board postpones final budget vote after city protests

The April 15 meeting was billed as a "final" budget hearing, but the School Board postponed a final vote until after the legislature makes its decisions on education funding. From left: Sitka Schools Superintendent Mary Wegner, and School Board members Tom Conley, Jennifer Robinson, Lon Garrison, Tim Fulton, Kaya Duguay, and Cass Pook. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)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.

Harrigan Centennial Hall renovation will go out to bid

A rendering of what the new lobby would look like after the renovation of Harrigan Centennial Hall. (Image courtesy of McCool Carlson Green)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.