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

Tonight’s (06-12-18) meeting of the Sitka Assembly will be devoted to revisiting proposed changes to land disposal laws and rate increases.

See full agenda here: 180612_AssemblyAgenda

Right now, the power to dispose of land valued over $500,000 dollars requires a public vote. Outside legal counsel has determined that is out of compliance with Alaska’s constitution.

The Assembly will consider two alternatives for changing that law. One would give them the power, rather than the public, to decide land sales of that size. That ordinance (Ord 2018-18) gets its final and second reading tonight, after being postponed at the May 8th meeting.

Another ordinance (Ord 2018-29) would require an advisory vote of the public. This ordinance, which gets its first reading tonight, grants the power of land disposal to the Assembly for the sale of real property valued over $5 million dollars – raising the threshold significantly. Under this proposal, the Assembly would take the public’s vote under advisement before making a decision.

The Assembly will also consider, on first reading, a 22% increase to water rates, driven by the need to pay for a backup water supply. They’ll also look at proposed rate increases to wastewater and garbage collection to pay for infrastructure.

Trident Seafoods Corporation is requesting to lease space in the Gary Paxton Industrial Park. Also, Harbor Master Stan Eliason wants fees at the Fishermen’s Work Float eliminated in winter to persuade boat owners to conduct repair in the off-season. Both come up for first and final reading tonight.

In grants, the Assembly will disburse $42,000 in the Fisheries Enhancement Fund to local organizations, review a grant application to hire a police officer to perform drug investigations, and also seek grant funding for a municipal cabins project.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in Harrigan Centennial Hall. We’ll join live in progress, following Alaska News Nightly.