During their regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 13, the Homer City Council adopted an ordinance to appropriate $70,000 from the Land Reserves to purchase a 4.53 acre parcel in the Bridge Creek watershed protection district. Ordinance 23-02(A) is an amendment of Ordinance 23-02, which was introduced on Jan. 9 and originally included language to draw funds equally from both the Land Reserves and the HART Trails fund for the purchase of the parcel.
The council held a public hearing on 23-02 during their Jan. 23 meeting, in which opposition to pulling from the HART Trails fund was raised. The council voted on Jan. 23 to amend the ordinance and appropriate funds only from the Land Reserves, but postponed a final decision on adoption until a second public hearing and reading of the ordinance could be held on Feb. 13.
The purpose behind purchasing property in the Bridge Creek watershed is to “allow for protection to the city’s water quality and quantity,” according to the amended ordinance. Land within the watershed area dedicated for preservation is not slated for development, nor is recreational use a priority for such plots. Beyond the actual purchase of the parcel, Ordinance 23-02(A) also states that it provides funds to “work with the neighboring property owner to complete a platting action to vacate the cul-de-sac that crosses a tributary to Bridge Creek.”
Councilmember Aderhold clarified that the cul-de-sac is not built, but exists as a platted entity, and would run right through an established drainage easement on a couple of nearby parcels if it were to be built. Purchase of the 4.53-acre parcel allows the city to get rid of the cul-de-sac and prevent obstructions to the drainage.
The council adopted several other ordinances last Monday to make purchases including short term rental tracking services from GovOS and a mobile radio from ProComm Alaska, and to accept an $8,122 donation from Homer Rotary that will be used to restore an antique water tank and purchase Motorola pagers.
The council also confirmed the appointment of Lisa Asselin Martin to the Library Advisory Board. Martin will fill the seat that was recently vacated by Emilie Springer, until that term expires in April 2024.
Multiple ordinances were introduced to the council during the reading of the consent agenda near the beginning of the meeting, including Ordinance 23-10, to authorize a $482,412 expenditure to “provide interim financing to complete the East Bunnell Ave./Charles Way water and sewer improvement projects,” and Ordinance 23-12, to appropriate funds to submit a grant application “for the purpose of float replacement in the small boat harbor.” Public hearings and a second reading will be held for each of these ordinances at the next regular council meeting on Feb. 27.
The council also adopted several resolutions upon reading the consent agenda, including Resolution 23-011 in support of the city’s application to the Alaska Department of Transporation and Public Facilities community transportation program “for Main Street rehabilitation and committing local match funds”; 23-013 in support of the city’s application and committing local match funds to Alaska DOT&PF’s transportation alternatives program for the Homer All Ages and Abilities Pedestrian Path, and 23-014 intending to add the Rogers Loop off-street parking project to the city’s capital improvement plan and to work with the Homer Trails Alliance on trails and trailhead-related project, dependant on receipt of grant funds from DOT&PF.
Public commentary from a few audience members was given in support of Resolution 23-014’s adoption so that residents could have better access to connected trails and safely use Homer’s recreation areas.
The next city council regular meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. The full audio recording from the Feb. 13 meeting, as well as the agenda and other supporting documents, can be found on the council’s website at cityofhomer-ak.gov/citycouncil/city-council-regular-meeting-275.
Delcenia Cosman can be reached at email@example.com.