May 11 2009
Stimulus Package Brings More Money into Borough
Monday, 11 May 2009

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            The Kodiak Island Borough has released a report outlining spending bills approved during the Alaska State Legislature's session and funding of interest to the Kodiak community. 

            According to borough lobbyist Mark Hickey's report, municipal revenue sharing for fiscal year 2010 was funded at the same level as the current fiscal year. However, borough manager Rick Gifford said that economic stimulus funding will bring in added revenue to the borough.

--          (Gifford 1                    22 sec.             "Apparently the federal economic ...  extra to the borough.")

            Education funding for 2010 included an increase of 100-dollars per student in base student allocation as well as an increase of 12.5-percent in area cost differential. Gifford said the incremental increase brings the school district closer to the 100-percent mark of the area cost differential, or how much more education costs in communities outside of Anchorage, identified several years ago but never fully implemented.

--          (Gifford 2                    17 sec.             "They had never ...  over the next two or three years.")

            Also included in education funding was 93-million-dollars in stimulus funds, but Gifford said it was unclear whether the governor would accept or veto those funds, and how the funds would be allocated if they were accepted.

--          (Gifford 3                    18 sec.             "They're still waiting for ...  knows for sure at this point.")

            Included among capital projects approved by the Legislature was 17.5-million-dollars for the Kodiak Launch Complex infrastructure, 6-million-dollars for Chiniak Road improvements, 3.2-million for Kodiak schools seismic mitigation project and 2.8-million for a building at the Kodiak Airport. Three transportation projects were funded with federal stimulus money, including Rezanof Drive resurfacing in the amount of 10-million-dollars, 8.4-million for Ouzinkie Airport reconstruction and 1.2-million for a Kodiak Airport chemical storage building. Renewable energy grants netted Kodiak 4-million-dollars for the Pillar Mountain wind project and 225,000-dollars for the Old Harbor hydroelectric project.

            Gifford said the Legislature was hamstrung by not having any discretionary funding at its disposal. He said he was pleased with the funding Kodiak did receive, but said it could have been better, especially when compared with previous years.

--          (Gifford 4                    41 sec.             "Between the borough ... has been in prior years.")

            Gifford commended Hickey for the comprehensive report, saying he did a good job of outlining the bills that passed and didn't pass and those of interest to the community. Gifford directed those interested in reviewing the full legislative report to the borough's web site.

            I'm Erik Wander.

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