State budget deficit affects Capital Improvement Plan

For the second year in a row, due to the state budget deficit, the city of Homer will not receive money from the state for Capital Improvement Plan projects. Projects on the Department of Transportation list will be funded, however, according to Jenny Martin, legislative aide for Rep. Paul Seaton’s office. 

The last CIP funded was during the 2015 fiscal year, Martin said. The state legislature this year decided to fund projects that leverage federal money and statewide projects that benefit more than one district. Additionally, the state is still funding projects with contractual obligations that would penalize the state for stopping them.

“If they broke those contracts by not funding the project and completing their contract, they would be at risk for fines and/or having to pay back federal or other grant matches,” Martin said.

Despite the lack of state funding, Homer collected CIP project proposals from various organizations in town. The CIP project list, which will be sent for approval by the Homer City Council on September 12, is more of a wish list than a to-do list, said Jenny Carroll, speaking on behalf of the City of Homer.

Though there is no funding for the projects from the state, it does not mean the CIP is useless for those who submit projects. A project with a spot on the final CIP means it has the support of the city, which can be helpful when applying for grants, Carroll said. For instance, non-project organizations might put this as a part of a grant proposal as they seek sources of funding for a project on the CIP.

Homer creates a CIP each year that plans for major acquisition and construction projects, usually with a value of $25,000 or greater, for the next six years, according to a press release from the City of Homer. The current CIP proposals are for 2017-2022. In additional to city government projects, such as road, sewer or public safety projects, non-profit organizations and government agencies can also submit proposals.

The city will submit the proposals, which were due near the end of May, to various advisory committees on June 12, Carroll said. Each committee will hold meetings, which are open to the public, to go over the projects relevant to their areas of specialty. The committees will review the projects and decide which ones will go on the formal document to submit to the city in September. 

“(The city will) post the schedule publically so people are welcome to come and make comments at meetings,” Carroll said.

The public hearing notice for the city council’s meeting review of the final CIP document will go out in the middle of September, Carroll said.

Anna Frost can be reached at anna.frost@homernews.com.

More in News

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Homer City Council candidate Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Traffic moves north along the Sterling Highway shortly after a fatal crash closed the highway for several hours Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. The state is seeking federal funding for a project aimed at improving safety along the Sterling Highway between mileposts 82.5 to 94, or between Sterling and Soldotna. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
State looks to federal funding for Sterling Highway project

The project is aimed at improving highway safety between Sterling and Soldotna.

Ethan Benton (left) and Laura Walters of Kodiak win the vaccine lottery for the Alaska Chamber's week one vaccine lottery giveaway "Give AK a Shot." (Screenshot)
State names winners in 1st vaccine lottery

A Valdez and Kodiak resident took home checks for $49,000 each.

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion
A podium marks the beginning of a StoryWalk at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The project was discontinued in August due to vandalism.
Vandalism ends Soldotna library program

The StoryWalk was made possible by a $2,500 donation from the Soldotna Library Friends.

Juneau Empire file
The Coast Guard medevaced a 90-year-old suffering stroke-like symptoms near Ketchikan aboard a 45-foot response boat-medium like this one, seen in Juneau, on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.
Coast Guard medevacs man from yacht near Ketchikan

The 90-year-old suffered symptoms of a stroke.

James Varsos, also known as “Hobo Jim,” poses for a photo during the August 2016, Funny River Festival in Funny River, Alaska, in August 2016. (Peninsula Clarion file)
‘Hobo Jim’ opens up about recent terminal cancer diagnosis

Varsos was named Alaska’s official “state balladeer” in 1994.

Most Read