On Monday, the Homer City Council postponed a discussion of whether to incorporate the city’s current policy prohibiting water services from being extended outside of city limits into city code. The change would also lay out a process for exceptions to that rule.
Donna Aderhold sponsored the ordinance.
“The reason that I wanted to bring this forward at this meeting is to lay out the framework for future conversations that we would have with Kachemak City,” Aderhold said. “So that Kachemak City would know, ‘Ok, this is specifically what Homer needs from us to start this process’ so that we can have that conversation.’
The Homer council recently approved extending water services to one lot in Kachemak City in exchange for $100,000. But Aderhold and others said there needs to be a formal process for making a such a decision in the future.
The proposed ordinance lays out specific steps for the council to approve extending water services outside of city boundaries, including a requirement that a neighboring city approve an ordinance requesting the extension.
Council member Heath Smith was in favor of considering the measure but wanted to hear from Kachemak City, the only neighboring incorporated community near Homer, first. The city had asked the Homer council via a letter to consider providing service to all properties along an existing East End Road water line, but after the council declined to do so, it is now working on a formal proposal.
“I would like to look at what they present and what we can kind of do in order to accommodate, if we can at all, depending on what they're willing to do, before we put this kind of language into play,” he said.
Council member Aderhold, and others, said that it is important for the City of Homer to be in the driver’s seat on this issue. But she agreed with council member Shelly Erickson that the council needed to dedicate more time to the ordinance.
“We need to sit down ourselves and have the hard conversation where we give ourselves enough time to be able to look at it,” she said.
The council will take up the matter again in a work session on May 28.