The Homer City Council adopted the budget for 2016 and added five additional budget items during its regular meeting Monday night.
The additional projects include: a submersible pump requested by the Department of Public Works, safety improvements for a portion of Soundview Avenue bordering West Homer Elementary, Calhoun Trail work, a sidewalk extension project for Soundview Avenue, and an expansion of the Hickerson Memorial Cemetery.
The new budget items will cost an estimated total of $576,000. The money to pay for the additional items will come from the Homer Accelerated Roads and Trails, or HART, Fund in all cases except for the purchase of the submersible pump and the Hickerson Memorial Expansion. Funds for the pump will come out of the city’s Water Reserve Account and the memorial expansion will be paid for with monies from the General Fund.
Homer residents voted at the beginning of this month to temporarily suspend tax revenue dedicated to the HART fund for a period of three years. The fund holds approximately $7 million. City manager, Katie Koester, has said the balance will not be touched, but money that would normally be put into the fund over the next three years will be redirected into the city’s general fund. That equals about a million dollars per year. She says it’s a way to reduce the impact of reductions in state funding to city services due to declining oil revenue for the State of Alaska.
The next meeting of the Homer City Council is scheduled for January 11th.
Correction: This story originally read the Homer City Council met Tuesday. The council held its meeting on Monday night.