Dock work could begin in fall

There was only one ordinance scheduled for public hearing at the Homer City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday.

Ordinance 13-07, sponsored by City Manager Walt Wrede and Public Works Director Carey Meyer, appropriated up to $42,450 from the Sewer, Water and Fleet Reserve Fund to purchase a steamer truck. There was no public comment, no discussion by the council and no objection to its approval. 

The rest of the meeting went just as smoothly.

Wrede drew attention to progress being made toward beginning harbor improvements. There currently is $4.2 million in the state capital budget, the state’s portion of a 50/50 match with local funds. The council has determined the city’s match will come from selling revenue bonds, and fees at the harbor were raised to provide funding needed to make the bond payments.

“I met with the bond bank attorneys this morning about the bond sale schedule,” said Wrede. “The bond bank board is meeting May 2 and we anticipate a bond sale in the middle of June and closing toward the end of June, which would be excellent timing, right about the time the capital budget passes.”

Theoretically, work in the harbor could be underway by fall, said Wrede, with that work focusing on System 5 upgrades providing vessel shore power and water to the large vessel float system.

Wrede also said work on the Deep Water Dock could begin this fall. It involves strengthening and lengthening the dock to accommodate larger vessels and more than one vessel at a time.

During a work session, Julie Engebretsen of the city’s Planning and Zoning Department reviewed with the council the status of city-owned properties divided into seven sections: lands available for lease, leased properties, undesignated lands, city facilities, parks, Bridge Creek and conservation areas. 

The Committee of the Whole agenda included an update on the city’s wellness program by Melissa Jacobsen. Nick Poolos, Katie Koester and Jacobsen presented the council with a review of efforts to develop a city logo and graphic use standards for the city.

Deb Lowney gave an update on work planned by the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, including the clearing of brush along the first-base side of the ball field at Karen Hornaday Park, drainage issues needing to be addressed, an April 12 work party at the park by members of Church On the Rock, and the Rotary Club’s continued improvements to Ben Walters Park.

Pointing to such recent events as the Homer Epic 100 and this weekend’s Sea-to-Ski and the city employees’ wellness program, Lowney said, “It’s amazing the revenue these events bring into this community and appreciated by all. I want to point out how important recreation is.”

With only 19 days left in the legislative session, the city’s lobbyists, Linda Anderson and Yuri Morgan, touched base via Skype. Anderson predicted the state’s capital budget would be unveiled sometime around the first week in April.

“It’s not unusual for the Legislature to wait for the Department of Labor spring forecast,” she said. “That is to determine the best guess-timate on the price of oil to base the budget on for the upcoming year.” 

Addressed by the council on the consent agenda were:

• Memorandum 13-038: reappointment of Caroline Venuti to the Transportation Advisory Committee;

• Ordinance 13-08: appropriating up to $110,000 to repair flood damage at the Wastewater Treatment Plans and implementing mitigation measures, introduced with public hearing and second reading on April 8;

• Ordinance 13-09: appropriating funds and establishing a project budget for administration and direct services supporting the Homer Natural Gas Distribution System Special Assessment District, introduced with public hearing and second reading April 8;

• Resolution 13-028: adopting the city of Homer logo and city of Homer logo and graphic usage standards, adopted;

• Resolution 13-029: approving a 10-year lease with no options for Fortune Sea, on Lot 19 of the Homer Spit, Subdivision NO. 5, adopted;

• Resolution 13-030: awarding a contract for a light vehicle purchase for the Port and Harbor, Fire Department and Police Department to Kendall Ford Wasilla of Wasilla in the amount of $91,281, adopted; 

• Resolution 13-031: Inviting the governor to have the Governor’s Family Picnic in Homer, adopted.

The next meeting of the Homer City Council will be April 8, with the Committee of the Whole at 5 p.m. and the regular meeting at 6 p.m.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at