Mar 19 2013
SmartPhone-Guided Tour of Kodiak Harbors Coming
Tuesday, 19 March 2013

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    Kodiak residents and visitors have something to look forward to this summer – guided cell phone tours of Kodiak’s St. Paul Harbor. The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly approved the start up money for the Kodiak Maritime Museum’s proposed tour project during its March 7 meeting. Toby Sullivan is the director of the Maritime Museum and said the tour has an intended audience, but is really for anyone who wants to learn more about Kodiak’s harbor.

--    (KMM Funding 1        :24        “The intended audience for this … our town square.”)
    The museum was requesting $1,500 from the borough to help pay the one time program fee, with the hope that the tour would become self-sustaining in future years. Assemblywoman Carol Austerman said she would vote against the funding, not because she didn’t like the project, but because the borough is trying to rework how it funds nonprofits. During a work session in February, Austerman presented a new application process that all nonprofits have to complete in order for the borough to best decide who gets what money.

--    (KMM Funding 2        :26        “Because the applications are … just is bad timing.”)

    At the beginning of the meeting Sullivan recognized the process the borough was implementing, but said the hope is to have the tour up and running this summer, and nonprofit funding decisions typically aren’t made until September. He said the museum was requesting the funding outside of the process so the tour could be operating in time for the 2013 tourism season. Because the tour would ideally cater to curious tourists, the museum asked that the money come from the borough’s bed tax fund, which Assemblyman Aaron Griffin said is set up for projects like this.  

--    (KMM Funding 3        :39        “We are supposed to be using that … timely manner.”)

    In the end the assembly voted 5-2 in favor of funding the project, with Austerman and Assemblyman Mel Stephens voting against it.