Relief for city lessees passes council

Apr 30, 2020

Credit City of Homer

Despite promises of financial aid from the federal government and an easing of travel and business restrictions in Alaska by the state government, the City of Homer is still anticipating hard times for its businesses.
    At Monday night’s meeting, City Councilmember Rachel Lord spoke to a resolution she co-sponsored enacting measures intended to help businesses who lease property from the city at the harbor, on the spit and at the airport.
     “Just for the record, the body of this resolution is largely similar to one that we passed at our last meeting, but addressing the real and potential, present and potential economic hardships from Covid-19,” Lord said. “And so this is just addressing, as it says in the title, the various leases that we have out primarily on the Homer Spit."
    Fellow Councilmember Heath Smith said businesses at the airport have already felt the pinch.
     “I mean the coffee shop and gift shop that's there in the airport. Obviously they're a, you know, their businesses ground to a screeching halt,” Smith said. “They definitely need to be in consideration for what this encompasses.”
    Under the measure, beginning May 1, tenants may request to submit a partial payment of at least 50 percent for up to five months, though relief is not automatic, as it needs to be approved by the city. Payment plans will be worked out for all accrued payments that were deferred, but there will be no late fees or penalties.
    The resolution passed, and is in effect until September 30.