Earnings from city’s permanent fund to be given to nonprofits

BY MICHAEL ARMSTRONG

STAFF WRITER

While the Homer Natural Gas Special Assessment District was the focus of Monday night’s Homer City Council meeting (see story, page 1),
the council also took other actions, including approval of an ordinance disbursing net earnings of 5 percent from the city of Homer Permanent Fund to local nonprofits for the benefit of the community. 

The council set aside $3,554.79 for eventual appropriation to nonprofits.

A motion to allocate that amount to South Peninsula Haven House’s Green Dot program failed on a vote of two yes, three no. 

The money would have been used to help pay training of community members in the Green Dot initiative, a pilot program Homer has been chosen to participate in. Volunteers would learn how to intervene in potential violent situations. 

The “green dot” refers to replacing red dots on a map showing violent incidents with green dots showing incidents stopped.

Mayor Beth Wythe spoke in favor of the Green Dot allocation.

“It sends a message clearly to the Green Dot Foundation that has chosen us as a pilot,” she said of the allocation. 

The council likely will be approached in the future to support the program anyway, Wythe noted, so this funds it without dipping into the general fund.

Although the allocation to nonprofits in general passed, the council reserved action on how that money would specifically go to community organizations. One option in the past has been to give it to the Homer Foundation for it to disburse. 

Wythe said when the Permanent Fund was set up, former Mayor James Hornaday was vocal that the council should be the one deciding how nonprofits benefit.

In other action, the council:

• Confirmed the appointment of city clerk Jo Johnson as acting city manager in the event of city manager Walt Wrede’s absence;

• Expressed its support for the Pratt Museum’s legislative grant request of $2 million;

• Authorized Wrede to apply for a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant for $75,000 in Karen Hornaday Park improvements;

• Approved travel authorization for Wythe to visit Juneau and the Alaska Legislature on Feb. 26 and April 2 to advocate for capital projects and legislation affecting the city; and,

• Accepted and appropriated an $8,000 grant from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for hazardous materials training.

Former council member Kevin Hogan criticized that $8,000 grant appropriation because the training already had been held.

“You may not allocate funds and incur obligation without voting on it first,” Hogan said.

“You don’t spend money before it’s appropriated. You should really be concerned this is before you in this form.”

When asked by council member Beau Burgess if the council could legally approve that resolution, city attorney Tom Klinkner advised them they could. 

The council has the prerogative of ratifying acts previously taken by people working for the city, he said.

The next regular meeting of the council is at 6 p.m. Jan. 28 in the Cowles Council Chambers, Homer City Hall.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.


More in News

Teaser
Then Now: Looking back on pandemic response

Comparing messaging from 1918 to 2021

Damage in a corner on the inside of the middle and high school building of Kachemak Selo School Nov. 12, 2019, in Kachemak Selo, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Repair costs rise as school facilities deteriorate

About $420 million worth of maintenance is needed at Kenai Peninsula Borough School District buildings.

Golden-yellow birch trees and spruce frame a view of Aurora Lagoon and Portlock Glacier from a trail in the Cottonwood-Eastland Unit of Kachemak Bay State Park off East End Road on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)
State Parks to hold meeting on Eastland Cottonwood unit

Meeting will include update on Tutka Bay Hatchery bill

Renewable IPP CEO Jenn Miller presents information about solar power during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Company looks to build solar farm on peninsula

It would be roughly 20 times the size of the largest solar farm currently in the state.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Soldotna Trooper arrested for multiple charges of child sex abuse

He has been a State Trooper in Soldotna since June 2020.

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. An Alaska state lawmaker was cited for driving with an open can of beer in his vehicle that another lawmaker said was actually his. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmaker cited for open beer fellow legislator says was his

Republican Sen. Josh Revak plans to challenge the $220 ticket.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
This 2011 photo shows the Taku and Malaspina ferries at the Auke Bay Terminal.
Costs add up as ferry idled nearly 2 years

Associated Press The cost to the state for docking an Alaska ferry… Continue reading

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
The Alaska Capitol is shown on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. There is interest among lawmakers and Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy in settling a dispute over the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend program, but no consensus on what the program should look like going forward.
Alaskans get annual boost of free money from PFD

Checks of $1,114 are expected to be paid to about 643,000 Alaskans, beginning this week.

Most Read