Fiscal Year 2019 began on October 1st. For Tim Dillon, Executive Director at the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, that means a tour, of sorts, around the area, sharing year end financials with city councils and other groups.
KPEDD produces a summary sheet for the borough and all her cities, outlining the highs and lows of the past year. He says the local economy is as diverse as ever. But like the rest of the state, what’s happening in the energy sector is still a main indicator.
"Things look really pretty good right now. We’re probably the most diverse borough in the entire state. The tourism industry had a pretty good year this past year. Agriculture is really starting to make some headwinds, especially in the peony market, not to mention the marijuana side. Fishing wasn’t what it’s been in years past, but we are working with the borough right now on some declarations that will hopefully help out the fishermen. But you know, 80-some dollars a barrel right now has things looking up," Dillon said.
"We’ve got a couple different potential oil and gas opportunities. People are starting to gear up for things. In fact, we’ve heard recently from folks making sure people have their certifications up to speed. (That’s) only good for us. The other thing people need to remember, I was talking to someone a few days ago who was talking about positive things going on up at the (North) Slope, but they were afraid that would be negative on us, and no. In fact, it’s a positive for us. There are a lot of people who work up on the Slope who call the Kenai Peninsula home and they bring their dollars home here, and I think that’s very important.”
This week’s number: 6
Business sales in 2017 were up six percent across the boough. A couple more end of the year numbers, approximately a million dollars a month in cannabis sales, $235,000 was the average sale price on a home, up three percent from the previous year.