Homer City Council

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Updated: 5:31 p.m. 

The Homer City Council’s regular meeting was canceled Monday afternoon after three council members refused to attend over a mayoral proclamation. The proclamation celebrated the LGBTQ community in Homer and declared June as “Homer Pride Month.”

Shahla Farzan, KBBI News

As Homer heads towards a special election on a bond proposition for a new police station later this month, the city will be trying to convince residents to approve increasing the city sales tax to pay for it, which is a big sticking point for some voters. As part of KBBI’s Q&A series, a local business owner asked what goes into that number and why can’t the city just pay for it out of savings? KBBI’s Aaron Bolton tries to answer that one.

PenAir

Homer may see new airline come to town this year. Peninsula Airways, better known as PenAir, hopes to lease space at the Homer Airport this summer and begin offering flights by the fall.

The Homer City Council approved a resolution Tuesday that allows the city to negotiate with the airliner. The resolution calls for a 26-month lease and roughly $38,000 annually to lease space for a ticket office and baggage area.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

A local bar and restaurant may lose its liquor license because it owes thousands of dollars in delinquent property and sales taxes.

The Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office notified the city last month that Young’s Downtown Restaurant & Inn applied to renew its liquor license. According to the control office, Ock Kyung Lee is the current business license holder.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s finance department sent a letter later that month to let the city know that Lee owes about $23,000 in back taxes to the city and borough.

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council is poised to create a task force to explore the cost of updating the Homer Education and Recreation Complex, or the HERC, for future use. But it postponed its decision on the matter Monday.

The HERC was previously evaluated as a potential site for a new police station, but that idea was scraped over concerns about hazardous material in the building. The gym is currently the only portion of the HERC the community uses.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council is reinstating regular work sessions on state legislative issues. Every other week on Tuesdays at 4 p.m., City Council members will report on issues in the state Legislature that relate to the city and will discuss following up with formal action on the council agenda.

The council held work sessions last year and the idea came up again after members of the council visited Juneau last month. In her monthly report, City Manager Katie Koester said it will be a way for the council to track issues and provide timely input on legislative issues in the state.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

Two resolutions aimed at revisiting water and sewer rates were removed from the Homer City Council’s agenda Monday. Both resolutions said that commercial users were impacted negatively after the city moved to a uniform rate for both residential and commercial users in 2013 and it called for a task force to look into the issue.

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council took an in-depth look at a preliminary design for a new police station Monday. The design plan calls for constructing a new facility at the corner of Heath Street and Grubstake Avenue. The $6 million building would be a vast improvement over the Homer Police Department’s current facility, but the plan does come with some drawbacks due to financial constraints.

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council made some adjustments to the 2018 draft budget Monday.

The council approved .5-percent cost of living adjustment for city employees. The Employee Committee initially asked the council for a 1-percent raise, but council member Heath Smith expressed concern over the $90,000 move.

He said it would eliminate a portion of future savings the city gained after voters approved using a road-and-trail-construction fund to pay for road maintenance this fall, which will go into effect in 2019.

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council got its first look at preliminary design plans for a new police station Monday. The council contracted Stantec to design a rough $6 million layout in August, but the design firm came back with both an $8 million and $6 million option.

A task force recommended building a $6 million or $9 million dollar building at the corner of Heath Street and Grubstake Avenue earlier this summer, but the council has focused on the cheaper option due to concerns over the cost of maintaining a larger building.

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