Homer City Council 2020

First public inoculation list filled quickly

Jan 13, 2021

During Monday night's Homer City Council meeting, South Peninsula Hospital spokesperson Derotha Ferraro announced that all the available appointments for this week’s inoculation against Covid-19 have been filled.
    There were 600 announced appointments available for vaccinations for those 65-years-of-age or older, to be administered on Friday and Saturday.
    Ferraro said the appointment spots filled up quickly after reservations were opened at noon.

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

If the executive director of the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association could pick any day he wanted to make one of his regular reports to the Homer City Council, he could have done much worse than Monday.
    Earlier in the day the Alaska Division of Parks began taking public comment on the new draft of the Kachemak Bay State Park Management Plan, which happens to include shutting down the organization’s Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery. Quite a bit of the audio conference questions and answers concerned the hatchery.

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

It appears Homer’s mayor is becoming more comfortable casting his tie-breaking vote. After barely using it at all during his first term in office, Mayor Ken Castner on Monday night cast a tie-breaking vote and threatened a veto.
    The first instance was when the council took up a resolution supporting the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association and opposing proposed changes in the Kachemak Bay State Park management plan that would force the association’s Tutka Bay Hatchery to close.

NPFMC deciding Cook Inlet salmon management

Dec 7, 2020
North Pacific Fishery Management Council

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has before it the fate of commercial salmon fishing in Cook Inlet. 
    There is a thousand-square-mile block of waters south of Kalgin Island that is part of the nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone, and therefore subject to federal regulation. Cook Inlet commercial fishermen, unhappy with state management which favored Kenai River sportsfishing, sued to have the waters federally managed. Whether the feds want to manage that water, turn it over to the state, or stop fishing in it altogether, is currently what’s before the council. 

City to sun-set plastic bag exemption

Dec 2, 2020
City of Homer

Last spring when Covid-19 first reached pandemic levels in the U.S., the Homer City Council moved to allow single-use plastic grocery bags to be provided at local retail outlets. Homer residents voted in a plastic bag ban last year, however, with the nature of the coronavirus largely unknown, employees and management at local grocery stores urged the council to allow single-use bags out of concern that reusable bags may harbor the highly transmissible disease.


At last night's Homer City Council meeting, Homer's COVID Incident Command Team delivered their regular report to the Council. Christine Anderson, representing South Peninsula Hospital, spoke of five COVID patient admissions to SPH over the last two weeks, ten COVID-related emergency room visits over the last two weeks and, she said, about 20 clinic visits from COVID positive patients.


An empty seafood facility on the Homer Spit is just waiting to get new tenants. But  before it does, the Homer City Council needs some more information.
At its meeting Monday night the council had before it a resolution with local seafood and apparel marketers Salmon Sisters to take over the lease on property that’s lately been vacant on the Spit.

Council advances several projects

Oct 29, 2020
City of Homer

The members of the Homer City Council had a long day on Monday, with work sessions starting at 4 p.m., and not adjourning their regular meeting until after 10. In addition to the previously reported changes to fiscal year timing and finalizing more economic recovery programs, the council also moved ahead on several other items.

City of Homer

The Homer City Council on Monday night passed its latest emergency recovery grant program, this one aimed at fishermen, predictably named “FERG.” It’s stocked with $1.3 million in federal CARES Act money funneled to the city through the state of Alaska in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The issue had broad support from former fishermen like Jim Herbert.

City Council moves fiscal year up by six months

Oct 28, 2020
City of Homer

The State of Alaska, and virtually all cities and boroughs in the state, utilize a “fiscal year” for setting their budgets that starts on July 1 and runs through June 30 of the next year. The Federal Government uses yet a different fiscal year, starting in October.* And then there’s the City of Homer, which seems almost alone with a fiscal year that coincides with the calendar year.
At Monday night’s Homer City Council meeting, the move to a July 1 Fiscal Year was debated, after the introduction of the idea by Councilmember Heath Smith.

Ravn Alaska air service in Homer nearing return

Oct 14, 2020
Float Shuttle

In just two weeks you’ll once again be able to purchase tickets on a scheduled flight to Anchorage. The new Ravn Alaska has received approval from the FAA to begin service out of Homer, according to an online post by Homer station Manager Peggy Swisher.
    Meanwhile, Homer City Manager Rob Dumouchel reported to the city council Monday night that the state of Alaska has approved the sublease at the airport terminal.

City of Homer

Absentee, special needs, and questioned ballots for the Homer Municipal Election were counted Monday afternoon by the city’s Election Canvass Board. Nearly half of the 1,901 ballots cast, 863 of them, were made in one of those ways. There was an exceptional turnout of 37 percent.
    The influx of votes did not change any of the outcomes from last week. However, in the mayoral race, challenger Donna Aderhold picked up 474 votes to incumbent Mayor Ken Castner’s gain of 363, narrowing the gap between them to 84 votes. Castner’s victory margin was 52 percent to 47 percent.


The COVID Incident Command Team made their regular report to Homer City Council Monday night amid rising case counts across the state and the switch to remote learning at McNeil Canyon Elementary School. Schools in Seward and Moose Pass are already all  100% remote learning  and Central Peninsula schools are preparing to switch to remote learning if case counts rise. Derotha Ferraro, spokesperson for South Peninsula Hospital says that their testing has identified ten positive cases in Homer in the last ten days, one of them, an employee of the hospital. 


City of Homer

There will soon be 11 more pieces of property inside Homer city limits that will enjoy water and sewer service after action Monday night by the city council.
     Residents of Tasmania Court and a portion of South Slope Drive petitioned the city to create a special assessment district for water service. The lots, just uphill from Homer High School, formed something of a “donut hole” with water and sewer service in all directions, but none serving them.

Responsiveness of city law firm questioned

Sep 29, 2020
City of Homer

A three-year, boilerplate renewal with the city’s contract law firm was almost pulled from the consent agenda during Monday night’s Homer City Council meeting at the request of a council member who expressed frustration with the representation the city has received.
Councilmember Joey Evenson shared his concerns about Jermain, Dunnagan & Owens of Anchorage during the council’s Committee of the Whole meeting, held in the hour before the regular meeting.