Assembly talks budget, money for special interests

It was all about money during a four-hour meeting at which Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly members heard about funding schools, flooding and animal control.

More than a dozen community members testified to the borough assembly May 5 that the issues they were facing needed further study — and therefore further funds — from the borough. The one revenue-raising issue on the agenda —an ordinance which would raise the amount of money that could be subject to sales tax in the borough — was postponed until the body’s July 7 meeting.

education: Assembly members first heard from Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Sean Dusek on its “moving target” of a 2015-16 budget that re- mains in limbo as the Alaska Legislature has yet to decide education funding levels.

Discussion among board members, who voted on a resolution to determine the amount of money to give to the school district next year, revolved primarily around how

much money should be allocated and whether the district should be funded to the maximum amount, or cap, that the borresolution.

The borough assembly’s vote set its minimum funding level at $46 million for next year, but the body could still revise the amount upward.

animal control: Some residents asked the borough to form a working group to address domestic animal problems in the borough.

Chris Heintz, of Sterling, said people were dumping both small domestic animals and large animals on the peninsula.

Flooding: Several people whose homes have been affected to varying degrees by flooding along Kalifornsky Beach Road spoke about needing further help.

Peggy Dye said she had spoken to several residents in the area whose stories of mold contamination and sewer backup needed solutions.

She said the borough should fund a feasibility study to identify the causes of the perpetually high ground water.