A school-bonds proposition might be on the October ballot, with about $5.5 million worth of projects identified.
The bonds proposition isn’t on Monday’s action agenda for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly meeting. However, Borough Manager Dan Bockhorst said in a report to the Assembly that an ordinance should be ready for the July 16 meeting.
Bockhorst said the school projects might qualify for a state program that would reimburse 70 percent of the costs. In that case, the local share would drop to about $1.6 million.
He said that if the borough paid the entire $5.5 million, the annual debt payment over 15 years would be about $480,000. However, “if the projects qualify for partial reimbursement from the State of Alaska, the state would bear 70 percent, we believe, of that cost,” he said. “So of the $477,540 annual debt service cost over 15 years, the local taxpayers would bear a burden of $143,262 of that.”
The projects include major maintenance upgrades, demolition of the Mike Smithers Pool, stage lighting at the high school auditorium, and improvements at athletic fields.
Bockhorst said borough officials believe the projects are eligible for reimbursement. To qualify, they must be education-related. For example, he said the new pool was partially reimbursed because the school district will use it for swimming classes.
He said demolition of the old pool could qualify because the cleared site could be used by the school district for additional parking, storage or maintenance facilities.
Bockhorst said a preliminary financing plan shows the borough can support the additional debt service through existing sales taxes.
AIRPORT PARKING FEE
Also in his report, Bockhorst asked for a four-hands vote allowing him to draft an ordinance that would impose fees at the airport terminal parking lot.
He said the Assembly approved a measure in 2007 that established fees on the Revilla-side parking lot, but then repealed it because the lot didn’t offer much in the way of amenities.
Since 2007, he said, the lot has been paved and a bathroom constructed.
“There are 260 spaces at the parking lot here on the Revilla side,” Bockhorst said. “Our prospective proposal, should the Assembly invite it to go forward, would be to impose a $1 per day fee per car.”
Bockhorst said that would raise an estimated $60,000 a year, which would cover costs such as snow removal, maintenance of the restrooms and lighting. He said the borough is looking into automated payment systems.
The borough charges $3 a day for airport parking on Gravina Island.
Also on Monday, the Assembly will consider awarding a $53,000 contract to SEA Island Construction to install a scoreboard and time clocks at the Esther Shea field at Fawn Mountain Elementary School.
The Assembly meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. Monday. Public comment will be heard at the beginning of the meeting.