Homer’s Public Works Department may be getting a new home in the future.
The city council introduced Ordinance 23-41, which will amend the 2024 fiscal year capital budget by appropriating $600,000 from the Land Reserves for the purchase of a tract of land with the intent to develop it into the site of the future Public Works campus.
A public hearing and second reading of the ordinance will be conducted during the council’s next regular meeting on Monday, July 24.
Currently located at 3575 Heath Street, the Public Works campus is within the tsunami inundation zone and the department’s equipment and operations are outgrowing many of the facilities, according to the ordinance.
Ordinance 23-41 is another step in what is considered a long-term phased project for Public Works’ relocation. Homer city council passed Resolution 20-125 in Nov. 2020, approving the creation of a Public Works Task Force to evaluate options to relocate all or part of the existing Public Works campus, according to a June 13 backup memorandum to Ordinance 23-41.
The task force’s final recommendation, published in Aug. 2021, was to conduct a phased approach to the relocation out of the tsunami zone, an early step of which included the acquisition of a parcel of land, according to the memo.
The ordinance states that the city has identified an 8.63 acre parcel just off East End Road that is suitable for a future Public Works campus.
The funds to be appropriated from the Land Reserves by Ordinance 23-41 will cover the cost of the parcel as well as commissions, closing costs and any other incidental costs. According to the June 13 memo, the parcel for the future Public Works campus is “the only ‘planned’ land purchase [the city] has on deck at this time.” Other property acquisitions planned by the city are either “small dollar opportunity-based and targeted at protecting the Bridge Creek Watershed” or are funded by grants or other city funds, the memo states.
The full ordinance and memo can be found on the city website at https://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/citycouncil/city-council-regular-meeting-284.