Council Preview: Harbor Overhaul, Audit, Legislative Lobbying

Tuesday, January 22 2013

An overhaul of the Bobby Storrs small boat harbor is slated for the near future, and that process could begin at Tuesday night's city council meeting. Ports Director Peggy McLaughlin is recommending that the council award PND Engineering a $22,000 contract for scoping work on the new harbor. That includes determining the current condition of harbor facilities and drafting a conceptual plan for the redesign.

The floats at the harbor are more than 30 years old, and last year the city received a $2 million matching grant from the state to replace them. City staff is recommending a float design similar to that of the recently completed Carl E Moses small boat harbor. PND was the design engineer for that project, and McLaughlin says consequently, it makes sense to bring the company in on this project as well. If awarded, it would be the second sole-source contract PND Engineering has received from the city this month.

Council will also hear a presentation on the city’s audited fiscal year 2012 financials at the meeting. The auditor, KPMG, gave the city a clean audit despite noting deficiencies in grant reporting. As city finance director Tonya Miller notes in a memo to council, a clean audit is important because “funding authorities and sources routinely use audits as part of their evaluation process for funding eligibility.”

The audit shows that the city increased its net assets by $19 million in 2012. The city’s revenues were also up, in large because of the rising price of oil, which generated more sales tax revenues. But the price of oil also meant increased expenditures, particularly for operations of the powerhouse.

A systematic reevaluation of taxable real and personal property could be in the works for this summer if council approves a resolution on the agenda. City clerk Elizabeth Masoni writes in a memo that the city is “required by law to ensure that assessments stay within 10% of market value.” She adds that it's been five years since a similarly comprehensive assessment was completed and she recommends that the city contract another evaluation for this year.

Council will also decide whether to weigh in on the community right of first refusal discussion at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in February. Through the right of first refusal, the city has the authority to keep crab processing quota in the community. NPFMC will be deciding on final rules associated with that right at the upcoming meeting.

Also up for a vote at the meeting will be mayor and council travel to Juneau for the annual legislative lobbying trip in March.

The meeting starts at 7pm in City Council Chambers.

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