When the Assembly meets tonight (06-14-16), they’ll put a rubber stamp on the FY17 budget. They’ll also vote on a program to subsidize utility bills and evaluate bulk water contracts with two companies, including Alaska Bulk Water Incorporated.

When the Assembly meets tonight (06-14-16), they’ll put a rubber stamp on the FY 17 budget. They’ll also approve two collective bargaining agreements with unions representing city employees. Both the Alaska State Employees Association and the Public Safety Employees Association negotiated for three-year agreements of incremental wage increases, which this year is 1.5% plus $500.

The state issued the first two recreational marijuana licenses on Friday (06-10-16), both testing labs. To prepare Sitka for cannabis business, the Assembly will appoint itself as the permanent Local Regulatory Authority, responsible for reviewing and approving marijuana license applications. That responsibility was previously held by the Marijuana Advisory Committee.

The Assembly will also evaluate several purchase agreements for bulk water, including a 20-year agreement with Arctic Blue Waters and 10 and 20-year agreements with Alaska Bulk Water, Inc.

ABWI has had exclusive access to Sitka bulk water since 2006. The contract was renewed six times over the years and terminated when the company failed to make a $1-million payment last December. This new, 20-year contract would give ABWI the right to maintain water loading infrastructure on the tidelands, under the condition other bulk water companies may use it for a fee of $0.002 cents per gallon.

The Assembly will also review a program to subsidize the utility bills of low-income homeowners. The ordinance, sponsored by Assemblymen Bob Potrzuski and Tristan Guevin, was approved on first reading last meeting.

The Sitka Assembly meets at 6 p.m. tonight in Room 229 at UAS. Raven Radio will join the meeting live in progress after Alaska News Nightly.