The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly postponed action Monday on a proposed change to how the borough funds education until after the October municipal election.
Assembly Member Glen Thompson drafted the proposal, which calls for taking 2.5 mills of the borough’s 5-mill property tax, breaking the total up into per-student grants, and then providing those grants to whatever state-accredited school families choose for their children.
The grants would replace the current system, where the borough provides discretionary education funding to only the local public school district. Ketchikan School Board members had some reservations about the proposal, and requested a work session with the Assembly to talk about it in detail.
Thompson said Monday that he’s not in a hurry.
“I think there was an impression, somehow, that came out of the last meeting that we’re trying to rush this,” he said. “I want to stress that is absolutely not the case. If this is considered by the Assembly, we need to take appropriate consideration and deliberation. Yes, I would be in favor of a joint meeting with the School Board to discuss any concerns they may have.”
The School Board had suggested Aug. 24th, but that didn’t work for Assembly members. There was talk of various dates in September, but scheduling conflicts made that challenging, as well. So, the Assembly agreed to hold off until after local elections on Oct. 6th, and let the newly configured bodies come up with a date that works.
Also Monday, the Assembly delayed action on request submitted by a citizen who wanted the borough to adopt the 2012 International Fire Code. The motion delays consideration until January of 2016, to allow time for more research into what such a move would mean for the borough.
In other action, the Assembly awarded a $914,000 contract for installation of a biomass boiler system at Ketchikan International Airport to Schmolck Mechanical Contractors.