Homer City Council

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council voted down an ordinance Monday that would have required the city manager to take inflationary pressures on the budget and the cost of living for employees into account during the budgeting process. 

The ordinance would have required the city manager to present the council with an overview of the Anchorage Consumer Price Index from the previous year, the only city in the state where inflation is tracked. The city manager would also be required to track cost-of-living raises given to city employees in three nearby communities.

City of Homer

Several elected officials’ terms in Homer are expiring this fall. Two spots on the Homer City Council will be up for grabs in October. Homer Mayor Bryan Zak’s seat will also be open this election cycle.

Candidates intending to run will be able to file with the city clerk’s office Wednesday.

Council members Donna Aderhold and Heath Smith are both finishing three years on the council. Smith says he is undecided whether he will run again. Aderhold declined to say whether she plans to run for re-election.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council updated the city’s leasing policy for public lands Monday. It hopes to streamline the process and give the council more say in approving leases.

Homer Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins was involved in reviewing the policies, and he said the city council will be more involved in the process under the new code.

They would give the city manager direction to negotiate and sign a lease," he said. "In the code, we've changed that so that the city manager will negotiate and then bring the final document to city council for signing."

QUINTON CHANDLER/KBBI

Earlier this year, the Homer City Council voted in favor of allowing workers to live in recreational vehicles on the Homer Spit, but on Monday, the council approved a new regulation that would subject those vehicles to a permitting process and a yearly fee.

The council has not yet decided on a fee structure. The Homer Advisory Planning Commission held a public hearing in April to discuss the fee and suggests at least $100 per year. 

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Updated: 5:31 p.m. 

The Homer City Council’s regular meeting was canceled Monday afternoon after three council members refused to attend over a mayoral proclamation. The proclamation celebrated the LGBTQ community in Homer and declared June as “Homer Pride Month.”

Shahla Farzan, KBBI News

As Homer heads towards a special election on a bond proposition for a new police station later this month, the city will be trying to convince residents to approve increasing the city sales tax to pay for it, which is a big sticking point for some voters. As part of KBBI’s Q&A series, a local business owner asked what goes into that number and why can’t the city just pay for it out of savings? KBBI’s Aaron Bolton tries to answer that one.

PenAir

Homer may see new airline come to town this year. Peninsula Airways, better known as PenAir, hopes to lease space at the Homer Airport this summer and begin offering flights by the fall.

The Homer City Council approved a resolution Tuesday that allows the city to negotiate with the airliner. The resolution calls for a 26-month lease and roughly $38,000 annually to lease space for a ticket office and baggage area.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

A local bar and restaurant may lose its liquor license because it owes thousands of dollars in delinquent property and sales taxes.

The Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office notified the city last month that Young’s Downtown Restaurant & Inn applied to renew its liquor license. According to the control office, Ock Kyung Lee is the current business license holder.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s finance department sent a letter later that month to let the city know that Lee owes about $23,000 in back taxes to the city and borough.

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council is poised to create a task force to explore the cost of updating the Homer Education and Recreation Complex, or the HERC, for future use. But it postponed its decision on the matter Monday.

The HERC was previously evaluated as a potential site for a new police station, but that idea was scraped over concerns about hazardous material in the building. The gym is currently the only portion of the HERC the community uses.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council is reinstating regular work sessions on state legislative issues. Every other week on Tuesdays at 4 p.m., City Council members will report on issues in the state Legislature that relate to the city and will discuss following up with formal action on the council agenda.

The council held work sessions last year and the idea came up again after members of the council visited Juneau last month. In her monthly report, City Manager Katie Koester said it will be a way for the council to track issues and provide timely input on legislative issues in the state.

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