The Sitka Assembly meets at 6 p.m. in Harrigan Centennial Hall. Raven News will broadcast the meeting live until it concludes. (KCAW Photo)

The Sitka Assembly will have their first reading of the budget tonight (05-08-18) and make decisions on several appropriations.

See full agenda here: 180508_Agenda

That includes money to conduct a landslide survey near Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School and Sitka High, to purchase rifle grade armor and ballistic helmets for the police force, and to install five new cell service poles.

The budget for FY19 includes several rate increases. While electric rates won’t change, Sitkans can expect a 22% increase in their water rates to finance a secondary water source and approximately 6% increases in wastewater, solid waste and moorage.

On second and final reading, the Assembly will vote on a proposal to give themselves the authority, rather than the public, to sell public lands.

In new business, the Assembly will consider a proposal to raise the age of tobacco sales to 21, adopting the Sitka Comprehensive Plan to guide future growth, and take another look at a proposal to tax guests at hotels.

Rather than adjusting the 6% tax rate,  the ordinance broadens the definition of how the tax is applied – calling it a transient lodging tax – and keeps all revenue within the visitor enhancement fund.

Raven Radio will broadcast the meeting live at 6 p.m. tonight in Harrigan Centennial Hall. You can follow reporter Emily Kwong’s updates on twitter at emilykwong1234