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Mayor, Council, Heading to Juneau Seeking Harbor Expansion Funding

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer
City of Homer

Lobbying season is underway at state capitol.

Alaska senior Senator Lisa Murkowski’s recent visit with City of Homer officials seemed to go well, at least from the perspective of Mayor Ken Castner who updated the city council Monday night.

“The city put on a very very good presentation and it was, it was such a good conversation back and forth, just answering questions that the senator had. Addressing some of the things that the Admiral was asking about, and providing two-way information. Senator Murkowski had three staff members with her, and the Admiral had two staff members with him, but I'm very pleased to report how well Robert organized his staff and had everybody kind of segmented in five to fifteen minute presentations and it was my job to kind of try and keep that on task. So it worked out very very well. I, I think we did a great job and, and I think the senator is, sent word back that she really enjoyed the meeting,” Castner said.

He also announced that he, three council members and several city staff will be in Juneau this week to lobby the legislature. The city is hoping to secure more funding for the harbor expansion project.

“We all have tasks to pursue it, there's an AML meeting, but really that's kind of secondary for, you know, what really is a lot being tripped and number one thing is to try and secure the $750,000. Which, I don't want to steal the thunder from Lane Chesley, but the, the borough assembly has a unanimous resolution, everybody signed on for, in support of our request to the state for the $750,000,” Castner said.

Councilwoman Rachel Lord reported on a virtual luncheon she had Monday afternoon with citizens, sponsored by the Friends of the Homer Public Library.

“So, we talked about, there's some questions about what the city's position is or if the city has taken positions on some state and federal issues Hospital 52, which has to do with the Tutka Bay patreon State Park lands Swap and, no the city has not taken a stance on that as a city. Cook Inlet, lower Cook Inlet oil lease sale, lease sale 2:58 I think, and I can did confirm with, like looked at the city legislation and looked in the city is not taking us, did not comment on the environmental impact statement on those lease sales which, and that comment periods closed now,” Lord said.

Lord said it was fine to let your neighborhood council member know of public safety or nuisance complaints, but they should always be shared to the appropriate city agency, be it the harbor office or police department, as well.

“What I keep hearing back from the Departments and from Administration, what I'm continuing to really push to the public is certainly let us know as a council, but you have to call Homer Police Department, You have to call the harbor you have to issue force these complaints because even if they can't do something about it right at that moment, it is tracked and it's the only real way that, that the city can really gauge the level of concern and kind of how to allocate resources to address concerns. So we talked about that,” Lord said.

The Homer City Council’s next meeting will be on February 28th.

Jay Barrett, KBBI's new News Director should be a familiar voice to our listeners. He's been contributing to Kenai Peninsula news for the last three years out of KDLL Kenai, and was the voice of The Alaska Fisheries Report from KMXT for 12 years. Jay worked for KBBI about 20 years ago as the Central Peninsula Reporter at KDLL.