Tag Archives: Sitka Assembly

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.

Assembly postpones discussion of electric rates

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.

Assembly to consider additional $1-million for schools

The Sitka School Board and Assembly met for a budget work session on April 9, 2015. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)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.

Despite voting down rate hike, Assembly says rates will rise

Workers pouring cement at the Blue Lake dam in June, 2014 (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)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.

City to propose “steep” electric rate increase

Workers pouring cement at the Blue Lake dam in June, 2014 (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)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.