The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly breezed through its regular meeting Monday night adjourning after only 23 minutes.
Reports from the borough mayor, emergency manager and borough manager took up most of the meeting. Items passed on the consent calendar included ratification of an amendment to an agreement with the State of Alaska regarding COVID-19 testing for travelers, and a correction to the term of office for the Planning Commissioner. Original correspondence indicated the term was to end in March 2023 however it ends in March 2022.
Borough Manager Ruben Duran lauded the work of the borough finance department. Audited financials for fiscal year 2020 were complete, and Duran noted that both revenues and expenditures dropped at the end of the fiscal year when the pandemic hit.
“And that is a reflection of how nimble this assembly is in adjusting operations based on what is happening. Typically, it’s a very slow turn of the boat, if you will. Revenues go down and you’re still expending money and you’re having a little bit of trouble so you see you need more revenues,” Duran said.
Duran says there was a slight excess of revenues over expenditures for FY2020, about $500,000.
“And it is small. But that half a million dollars rolls into the fund balance which is going to help us deal with this fiscal year’s shortfall. We know there’s going to be one. We projected that in the budget. Well there’s a little more cash from last year that’s going to help soften that blow, mitigate that problem,” he said.
Duran complemented the finance department, staff and assembly for their flexibility, and says the borough is in a good position to weather financial challenges amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The next regular meeting of the Ketchikan Borough Assembly is Monday, January 18th beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Borough Assembly Chambers.