Borough Budget

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly unanimously adopted next year’s budget last night. Most of the work in terms of amending the proposed budget was taken care of over the previous two meetings, with much of the debate going into the funding of the so-called non-departmentals.

 

A hiring freeze may be thawing out at the borough. The assembly approved a resolution at its meeting this week encouraging the administration to fill positions that have been open for more than a year.

More than 100 people were at the Seward High School auditorium for last night’s Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting. The assembly heard more than three hours of public testimony on two different education funding items.

The first was an ordinance that will appropriate $2.4 million in supplemental funding to allow the district to begin offering contracts to nontenured teachers. The assembly cast a 5-4 vote to approve that funding, but it will be subject to a potential veto by borough Mayor Charlie Pierce. When asked by assembly member Kelly Cooper if he intended to issue a veto, he said he wasn’t ready to speak to it. He was ready to speak to the reasons the borough and the school district find themselves in this situation, pointing to yet-to-be resolved budget drama in Juneau and his predecessor, Mike Navarre.

 

Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce had a simple message for people worried about potential budget cuts. Embrace them.

 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly rebuked a key component of Governor Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget last night. A pair of bills Dunleavy has sent to the legislature would shift tax revenue from oil and gas properties from municipalities to the state. That would mean a roughly $15 million deduction in borough revenue, nearly 20 percent of what the borough brings in.

 

As budget negotiations continue between the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the school district, one line item that’s a holdover from last year is the addition of more school counselors. The district requested $600,000 to create four new elementary counselors, and also expand what’s offered in the high schools beyond the two counselors currently working in the district at Kenai Alternative High School and Homer Flex. The district’s Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, John O’Brien, spoke with KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran about what role those counselors will play, if the funding is made available.

 

 


The Kenai Peninsula Borough began its budget process Wednesday, with managers and directors meeting to discuss departmental finances. At the borough assembly meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Charlie Pierce warned that there are some complications going into this budget cycle.

For one thing, he doesn’t expect any extra help from the state.

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  As the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's academic year winds down, it's budget season is heating up. Superintendent Sean Dusek took to Facebook Tuesday night, as he does regularly to field questions about the district, and began with some comments about the district's budget picture.

This week, on Econ 919, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce has been touting his plan to cover the borough’s $4 million-plus deficit this year with no new taxes. But a part of that plan means asking for administrative fees from the borough’s service areas. KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran has more.


 

Borough mayor Charlie Pierce is rolling out some specific details on how to close the borough’s four million dollar budget gap. He spoke at a joint meeting of the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce Wednesday.