Homer City Council

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.

Council takes step toward upgrading ice plant

May 14, 2019
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.

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.

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. 

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.

City Council won’t help fund treatment center

Mar 12, 2019
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.

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.

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  

Pot shop sidesteps major roadblock

Nov 27, 2018
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.  

Photo Courtesy of City of Homer

This week Homer Mayor Ken Castner presided over his first Homer City Council meeting, and for the first time in about a decade, former Mayor Bryan Zak is no longer involved in local government. KBBI’s Aaron Bolton caught up with Zak last week to talk about his time on the Homer Planning and Zoning Advisory Commission, his seven years as a Homer City Council member and his potential return to local government.

City of Homer

Homer Mayor Ken Castner’s first official Homer City Council meeting started off on a tense note this week. Castner clashed with council members on rules guiding the council’s authority while acting in his stead and the future of mayoral proclamations. 

Council member Donna Aderhold proposed a measure Monday to clarify the role of the mayor pro tem. It’s the role of the council member who serves as acting mayor while the mayor is away.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The Homer City Council is requesting that Gov. Bill Walker declare the 2018 upper Cook Inlet sockeye salmon fishery an economic disaster. Council members passed a resolution Monday asking Walker to make the declaration.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the total 2018 harvest of all salmon in upper Cook Inlet was valued at $11 million, nearly 70 percent below the 10-year average. The total commercial sockeye harvest in upper Cook Inlet came in at 815,000 fish, which was also down roughly 70 percent from the 10-year average.

City manager introduces 2019 draft budget

Oct 9, 2018
Courtesy of the City of Homer

The budgeting process is once again underway in Homer. City Manger Katie Koester introduced a draft budget to the Homer City Council Monday night. The new budget includes a nearly two percent increase in operating costs compared to 2018. Employee healthcare and electricity costs make up most of that increase.

For the past few years, the city has diverted the Homer Accelerated Roads and Trails program, better known as the HART fund, to prevent to a $1.2 million budget gap. The fund is designated for road and trail construction.

Homer City Council revisits plastic bag ban

Sep 25, 2018
City of Homer

The Homer City Council is contemplating a ban on thin single-use plastic bags. The move would follow other communities that have passed similar ordinances. But this isn’t the first time the council has dabbled with the issue, setting up yet another contentious debate over the role of city government in Homer.

The bag ban that was introduced Monday is largely the same ordinance city council members passed back in 2012.