Boro Approves Non Profit Funding

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly approved almost $400,000 in non profit funding during its regular meeting last night. The money, which will be included in the FY 2015 budget, will go to 17 non profits in varying amounts, based on need and services the organizations provide.
The assembly introduced a new application process for non profit funding last year, and was firm on its requirements for local organizations seeking borough dollars this time around. A handful of those organizations ultimately missed out on funding due to incomplete or late applications.
Assemblyman Mel Stephens moved to amend the non profit funding list to include those organizations, but when put to a vote, the amendment failed 6-1.
During last night’s meeting the assembly also introduced an ordinance that would provide specific guidelines for assembly members’ and community members’ behavior during meetings, and how to handle situations when those guidelines aren’t followed.
Assemblywoman Chris Lynch explained the goal behind the ordinance. “What we’ve tried to do is hone the actual chapter of decorum in debates so that as the presiding officer of the meeting you can have better tools when people are saying things that are disrespectful, you have something to refer to – it’s to keep order in the meetings, it’s to treat people with respect and it’s to give us the tools to implement that. That’s all it’s really meant for.”
Assemblyman Mel Stephens said he would vote against the ordinance because he felt it was inappropriate and a waste of time. He asked for concrete examples of why this ordinance might be needed, specifically, instances at meetings where comments may have been out of line.
“So that next time we can talk about concrete situations that would be addressed by this proposed ordinance. I tell you myself, I cannot recall any incidence of profanity, slander or threats. As to remarks that are personally offensive, I suppose that’s kind of like beauty – it’s in the eye of the beholder, and the same way about insulting. But let’s try to focus on actual incidents and then see whether the language of this ordinance would have moved this along.”
That ordinance passed in a 6-1 vote with Stephens dissenting. It now moves on to a second reading and public hearing at the assembly’s next regular meeting.
During Borough Manager’s comments Bud Cassidy shared the recent news regarding PILT funding from Washington, D.C. PILT stands for payment in lieu of taxes, and is given to places that have a sizable amount of federal land, which cannot be taxed by local boroughs.
“Even though it’s more nationwide, it translates to about $100,000 more than last year, but I think we’ll accept anything greater than we recieved.”
That extra $100,000 translates to a total PILT payment of $1.5 milllion to the Kodiak Island Borough. Nationwide the amount of PILT funding increased by  $2 million.

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