Tuesday's Borough Assembly Meeting Covered Multiple Agenda Items
Tuesday’s Borough Assembly meeting lasted late into the night with several items up for discussion.
Tuesday’s Borough Assembly meeting lasted late into the night with several items up for discussion. On the agenda was Ordinance 2021-19-50, the Opioid Settlement Funds Grant Program, clarifies how the settlement funds will be distributed. Former assembly member and Fritz Creek resident, Willie Dunne urged the assembly to postpone any decision on the ordinance.
“There's a lot to consider here. And one of the one of the positive things coming out of this is that the settlement funds will be used for opioid remediation and abatement to help people suffering from opioid use disorder. However, I think the grant program might not be the best way to utilize those funds, we do have two hospital service areas," Dunne said.
The ordinance was taken off the consent agenda and will be reintroduced to the Assembly on August 9.
An Ordinance 2022-08 was also postponed. It will be on the agenda at the next regular meeting. The ordinance would broaden property tax exemption for Independent Power Producers or IPPs. IPPs are private companies that own facilities that generate power for sale to a utility.
Speaking at the meeting was Jenn Miller, CEO of Renewable IPP. Her company wants to build a massive solar farm on the Kenai Peninsula- the largest solar project in the state of Alaska. However without a tax exemption from the Borough, the project might not be able to get off the ground. Although many assembly members grilled Miller about her business plan, Assemblymember Tupper reminded the body that the debate was not over Renewable IPP’s proposed solar farm.
“Just as I'm listening to you guys, and thinking about this, how we're not actually talking about a project right now we're talking about an ordinance that changes the incentive structure for projects like this," Tupper said.
The assembly voted to postpone final action on the ordinance until their next regular meeting on May 17.
Several Resolutions were approved including Resolution 2022-07, which passed unanimously. It will put the question to voters at the October 4th election - of whether to add 2 districts to the Assembly and school district, changing the total number of districts from 9 to 11. If the voters decide to add the two extra districts, another committee will be tasked to draw distinct lines.
Resolution 2022-27 also passed, with five yes votes and four no. The No votes were cast by Assemblymembers Bjorkman, Ecklund, Cox and Tupper. The ordinance changes the special assistant to Mayor Pierce from a part-time position to a full time position and changes the position designation.
The Assembly will meet for a special meeting on May 16 to discuss the budget for the next fiscal year, which will begin on July 1, 2022. Next regular Borough meeting will be May 17. You can listen at KBBI AM 890 or stream online at KBBI.org.