Homer City Council

City of Homer

Homer Mayor Ken Castner campaigned on the promise that he would not cast votes to break a tie when the city council split their votes evenly. He said he wanted council members, who often split on issues, to not depend on him to decide. At Monday night’s council meeting, in response to Castner casting tie-breaking votes on a couple of issues, Councilmember Rachel Lord brought forth an ordinance that would have required the mayor break ties.

City of Homer

Two seats on the Homer City Council are in contention for the October 1, 2019  Municipal Election. The seats are currently held by Shelly Erickson and Tom Stroozas who were elected in 2016. Erickson and Stroozas have both filed for re-election.

Homer City Council recap: July 22, 2019

Jul 24, 2019
City of Homer

The Homer City Council responded to the current state fiscal debate with a letter sent to the Alaska legislature and Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, outlining the impacts currently budgeted cuts would have on the city and region.The letter, approved unanimously by the council Monday night, noted that job losses from the $444 million in vetoes to the state operating budget implemented by Gov. Mike Dunleavy would impact the region’s property and sales tax revenues, which make up 72 % of the city’s general fund budget. 

Homer City Council - June 24, 2019

Jul 2, 2019

Even on a slow day, the Homer Boat Harbor is a busy place. But if you are captaining one of the many 100-plus-foot vessels berthed there, navigating in water that is barely deep enough while avoiding dozens of small skiffs as you turn around, it’s far from ideal. Bryan Hawkins, port director and harbormaster for the City of Homer, addressed the Homer City Council Committee on the Whole meeting on Monday night.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council declined to put a parcel of city-owned land in Homer’s central business district back on the market Monday. The 1.3 acre parcel could have been the future home of Grace Ridge Brewing, but opponents of the move say the property could serve the city in the future.

The city had considered building the new Homer Public Library on the site, but after the city went another direction, the land sat on the market until 2018.  

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council allowed a Kachemak City low-income housing project to access Homer’s water system via a waterline on East End Road in March. The move spurred a conversation about how similar requests should be handled.

Homer’s council members will need to make a decision soon because the Kachemak City Council is now asking Homer to provide water services to other properties along East End Road.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council took a step forward toward upgrading the ice plant on the Homer Spit, Monday. During a meeting, the council approved funding an engineering consulting firm from Anchorage to evaluate the plant and create a list of recommended improvements.  

According to the city, the ice plant provides more than 3,500 tons of flake ice each year to preserve more than 20 million pounds of fish. Upgrades may include replacing refrigeration compressors and updating control systems.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council approved a plan Monday to make Homer more accessible. The City of Homer Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan identifies physical barriers that make the city inaccessible and categorizes them in terms of cost, priority and a timeline for correction. The plan addresses everything from parking issues to repairing ramps.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

A low-income housing complex coming to Kachemak City will be able to hook up to Homer’s water and sewer system. The Homer City Council’s decision Monday night conflicts with a city policy prohibiting non-Homer residents from utilizing the city’s water and sewer system. Council members were divided on the issue but Mayor Ken Castner cast his tie-breaking vote in favor of the one-time deal, breaking his campaign promise to never settle a tie vote. 

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council postponed its decision Monday on whether to extend city water services to a low-income housing development outside of city limits. East End Partners offered the city $100,000 to provide city water services at the site in Kachemak City.  However, the ordinance would not allow other residents outside of city limits to access Homer city water.  

The council wants the Kachemak City Council to decide whether it will write a letter of support for the ordinance before it votes on the measure. The Kachemak council will meet Tuesday.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council decided not to provide funding to a faith-based substance abuse residential treatment center. Set Free Alaska hoped to receive nearly $200,000 from the city to help it launch a 16-bed men’s facility later this year, but some council members say the city needs to craft a policy before it provides large amounts of funding to nonprofits.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

Updated: 4:01 p.m. 3/12/19

The Homer City Council has penned a strongly worded letter to Gov. Michael Dunlevy asking him to explore possible revenue options such as a state income tax instead of balancing the state’s budget through reduced state services.   

The letter says the far-reaching cuts in Dunleavy’s budget proposal reflect quote, “little concern for the burden that you have passed on to the residents of Alaska and the local governments that serve them,” end quote.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

There has been some contention surrounding a proposed residential drug treatment center in Homer. Set Free Alaska, a Christian-based organization, wants to utilize a state grant and some matching funds from the city to start the treatment center downtown.

However, some on the Homer City Council question whether the money the city has in mind could be legally spent on the project.   

Courtesy of Enstar

There has been a misunderstanding between the  City of Homer and Enstar Natural Gas.

Enstar helped fund the extension of its natural gas line to Homer in 2013. The state funded part of the extension too. However, the city and some in the Legislature were unaware that Enstar’s contribution was actually a loan with interest. Customers are supposed to pay the gas company back through an extra charge on their bill.

But, that loan balance isn’t dropping. In fact, it has grown by nearly $2 million  

Courtesy of Robert Bornt

A new Homer-based pot shop sidestepped a major roadblock Monday. 420 on Main plans to open its retail shop and grow operation on Main Street. The business also plans to manufacture marijuana products. But the shop still needs one more necessary license from the state. 

The Homer City Council did not object last month to 420 on Main’s application for a manufacturing license from the Marijuana Control Board.

However, council member Shelly Erickson asked the council to reconsider that decision during Monday’s meeting, though the council reaffirmed its choice.