Kenai Peninsula Borough

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

School start times are changing for students on the Southern Peninsula this fall. Younger students will be getting out earlier than in past years, and with the first day of school just a couple of weeks away, some parents are scrambling to find a place for their kids to go after school. A coalition of businesses and non-profits in the Homer area are working to solve that problem.

Courtesy of Keep Cannabis Legal

Marijuana businesses across the Kenai Peninsula Borough are facing an uncertain future. Ballot Proposition 1 will go to a vote in October and would ban all pot operations within the borough that don’t fall under municipal regulations. A ballot initiative group is pushing back against the proposition by promoting the economic growth of the marijuana industry.

Keep Cannabis Legal gave a presentation to the Homer Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Board Friday. The ballot initiative group is traveling around the peninsula to push back against Ballot Proposition 1.

Borough Assembly Upholds Invocation Policy

Jan 4, 2017
Image courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is standing behind their controversial invocation policy.

At their Jan. 3 meeting, Assembly President Kelly Cooper introduced an amendment to the policy that would have allowed individuals who share a common “interest or belief” to be able to give the invocation.

That amendment failed in a 6 to 3 vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska filed a lawsuit against the Kenai Peninsula Borough on Dec. 14 over the invocation policy.

2016 Municipal Election: Unofficial Results

Oct 4, 2016
Image courtesy of City of Homer

The city of Homer has reported the preliminary results from the 2016 municipal election.

Bryan Zak won the Homer mayoral race, with 52 percent of the vote. Candidate David Lewis received 46 percent of the vote.

Shelly Erickson and Tom Stroozas have been elected to Homer City Council.

Voters rejected Homer City Ballot Proposition 1, with 53 percent voting no on the proposition. The bond proposition would have financed a new police station in Homer.

Invocation to Continue at Borough Assembly

Aug 24, 2016
Photo by Daysha Eaton/KBBI

For now, the invocation will continue to be said at the start of Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meetings.

An ordinance that would have replaced the invocation, or prayer, with a moment of silence never made it to introduction at the body’s regular meeting on the evening of Tuesday Aug. 23.

The ordinance was set to be introduced by Assembly Vice President Brent Johnson, but it failed to be introduced in a four to four tie vote.

The 'yes' votes were cast by Assembly Members, Kelly Cooper, Willy Dunne, Brandii Holmdahl, and Brent Johnson. Assembly Member Stan Welles was absent.

Borough Passes $80 million FY2017 Budget

Jun 14, 2016
Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

After some tweaks and tinkering, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly passed a fiscal year 2017 budget Tuesday with general fund expenditures just under $80 million.


Coffee Table: Legislative Impact on Local Government

Apr 27, 2016
Photo by Rose Grech

Legislators are more than a week past their deadline to end the regular legislative session and the most important issue, the budget deficit, is still unresolved. This session lawmakers heard multiple bills that, if passed, could increase costs for cities and boroughs around the state. 

This week on the Coffee Table we discussed session’s proposed legislation and the impacts it could have on the city of Homer and the Kenai Peninsula Borough. 

Assembly Member Criticized for ISIS Reference

Apr 6, 2016
Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

A Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Member, Stan Welles, infuriated borough residents after he wrote a letter to a local newspaper arguing the irrelevance of marijuana revenue in the face of its social costs. Residents turned out at Tuesday’s Assembly meeting to tell Welles their thoughts on the letter’s closing, which they say, compares people involved in the marijuana industry to Islamic State terrorists.


Borough Marijuana Ban Ordinance Postponed

Apr 6, 2016
Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly ran out of time during its Tuesday night meeting and had to postpone the vote to introduce a controversial ordinance. Ordinance 2016-10 would give Kenai Peninsula Borough residents the option to not allow licensed marijuana businesses in the borough.

Homer Assembly Member Kelly Cooper says she normally votes to at least introduce every ordinance so it can be heard. But, she won’t give this ordinance the same courtesy.

Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly members may introduce an ordinance at their regular meeting Tuesday evening that calls for a borough-wide vote on whether to ban commercial marijuana within the borough.

Assembly members will hear public testimony on the ordinance and hold a vote to introduce it. The ordinance is sponsored by Assembly President, Blaine Gilman.

Borough Healthcare Consultant Visits Homer

Mar 30, 2016
Photo by Quinton Chandler/KBBI

A representative from a healthcare consulting firm spoke to Homer residents inside the Homer City Council Chambers Tuesday afternoon about ways to improve healthcare on the Kenai Peninsula. 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough convened a healthcare task force last fall to find better ways to provide healthcare in the borough at a lower cost. The borough hired the consulting firm, Stroudwater Associates, for the same reason.

Borough Composting Service A Possibility

Mar 8, 2016
Image Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough

The Kenai Peninsula Borough is considering teaming up with a Homer area composter to turn organic waste, usually transported to the borough's landfill, into fertilizer.

“The Borough Administration is very interested in setting up a pilot project collecting food waste from local restaurants [and] perhaps facilities like the hospital. We’re still working on the details, but basically collecting food waste and composting them instead of putting them into the borough landfill,” said South Peninsula Borough Assembly Member Willy Dunne.

Coffee Table: KPB 2016 Outlook

Mar 2, 2016
Image Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is wading through another set of issues this year. Cannabis regulation, Healthcare reform, Local Option Zoning and the budget are just a few of the issues assembly members are tackling. This week on the Coffee Table we talked with your South Peninsula Borough Assembly members: Kelly Cooper and Willy Dunne. 


Coffee Table: KPB Healthcare Task Force

Feb 12, 2016
Photo by Dorle Harness/KBBI

Managing the costs of healthcare is a never ending problem especially in Alaska’s rural communities. The Kenai Peninsula Borough has convened a healthcare task force to find new ways to continue providing sustainable health care on the Kenai Peninsula. On this week’s Coffee Table we examined the work being done by the task force and the options under consideration. Our guests were Task Force Chair Rick Ross, Vice Chair Bill Smith and Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre. 

Borough Sends Wish List To Legislature

Jan 20, 2016
Image Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough

The Kenai Peninsula Borough released its state funding priorities Tuesday (1/19) for the current legislative session. 

Borough Mayor Mike Navarre isn’t optimistic the legislature will appropriate funds for the borough’s wish list, but he says it’s still important to ask. 

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