The purchase of the former Sitka Ranger District headquarters by the Sitka Tribe of Alaska is moving forward.
The Sitka Assembly Tuesday night (1-22-19) unanimously approved the assignment of two tidelands leases at 204 Siginaka Way to the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. The Tribe is purchasing the former Forest Service building associated with those tidelands, to be used as STA’s new headquarters.
The assembly also approved waiving late utility fees for federal employees and contractors affected by the partial government shutdown. Assembly members Kevin Mosher and Aaron Bean sponsored the plan to waive the 1% fee for the period of the shutdown. Mosher said the move wasn’t political.
“It’s really simple we shouldn’t be profiting off of people’s unfortunate circumstances. This is not meant as a political statement in any way,” Mosher said. “This is simply meant to show support for those affected by this in town.”
But Bean differed with him there.
“I’ll say everything except it could also be perceived as a political statement, most definitely in my opinion,” he said. “If you want to see me in the light of someone who is completely opposed to the actions of this administration, I’d be okay with that.”
The assembly voted 5-0 in favor of the fee waiver for furloughed federal employees, with assembly member Valorie Nelson — a furloughed Forest Service employee — abstaining. Those affected must provide proof of employment and request the late fee waiver at the city utility office.
The assembly also unanimously approved appropriations to the 2019 budget to purchase video monitoring equipment and pay for additional seasonal staffing at Harrigan Centennial Hall this summer. Assembly member Kevin Knox said it’s going to be a good year to increase the services building staff provides.
“The city is going to be taking on the primary role in greeting our visitors here with the change in the visitor contract,” he said. “Luckily, thankfully in this upcoming year we’re going to be seeing a sizeable increase in visitors, it’s an important service for us to be able to provide. Mr. Kluting has often told us that his current staffing levels are stretched thin, so these positions will be key for him.”
And finally, the assembly voted 6-0 to approve a liquor license renewal application for the Mean Queen, reappointed Daniel Gunn to a three-year term on the Library Commission, and appointed Christopher Brewton to a three year term on the employment relations board.