The Assembly will meet tonight in Harrigan Centennial Hall. Raven Radio will broadcast the meeting at 6 p.m. after Alaska News Nightly. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

The Sitka Assembly will have two areas of focus when it meets tonight (11-22-16): infrastructure and the budget.

See agenda here: sitka-assembly-agenda-11_22_16

They’ll start at 5 p.m., holding a joint work session with the Gary Paxton Industrial Park board to review plans for multi-purpose dock. Turnagain Marine Construction Corporation is being contracted to build the deepwater dock, with space for freight delivery, bulk water delivery, and in-water boat work. The budget is $6.8 million dollars and comes from state transportation grants.

The Assembly must now approve the design build contract, as well as any contingency spending. The board has requested $125,000 from the GPIP working capital fund and $125,000 from the Bulk Water Fund, which will be returned if unspent.

The Assembly’s regular meeting begins at 6 p.m. There’s a variety of special reports on deck.

Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins will talk about the new bipartisan coalition in the state house. Rachel Roy, Executive Director of the Sitka Chamber of Commerce, will review the past year of visitor services (See report here: chamber-annual-report). The Chamber has been overseeing visitor services – from tourists to conventions – since 2015, when the Assembly dissolved the Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau.  And Jay Sweeney, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, will talk about the Blue Lake Dam bonds and why, per the bond agreement, Sitka cannot pay off the bonds early and be excused from paying further interest.

The Assembly met on Saturday (11-19-16) for a visioning session on how to close next year’s $4 million budget gap, over half of which is within the electric fund. Tonight, they’ll discuss further what combination of reductions, reserves, and revenue is right for patching the hole in Sitka. That may result in Assembly members stepping up to sponsor or co-sponsor tax ordinances.

In old business, the Assembly will decide whether to transfer a General Fund balance of $440,000 into the Public Infrastructure Sinking Fund. They postponed that decision until after the visioning session, and may keep that money in the general fund to help defray the budget gap.

In new business, the Assembly will consider a marijuana store license for Northern Lights Indoor Gardens. The retail marijuana store would be located in the 1300 block of Sawmill Creek Road and is co-owned by Micah Miller and Mike Daly. Lorraine Daly is also listed as an affiliate.

The Assembly will also get an update on the recruitment process for a new city administrator. City Administrator Mark Gorman plans to step down by June 15th of next year.

Included in the Assembly’s packet are the results from the city’s 2016 financial review: cbs-financial-review-9-30-2016

The Assembly meets tonight at 5 p.m. in their chambers at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Raven Radio will join the meeting live in progress at 6 p.m., after Alaska News Nightly.