City and Borough of Sitka

Press Releases and Public Service Announcements

 

CBS - Annual 2020 UTILITY Cost Subsidization Program Opportunity

10/20/2020

The City and Borough of Sitka will accept applications for the Utility Cost Subsidization Program (this is the annual program rather than the COVID-19 relief program) through October 31st. Applicants meeting certain criteria may be eligible for a subsidization of their municipal utility costs. The subsidization period shall be for one year, beginning January 2021.

 

An appointment with the Finance Department may be required. For more information, visit www.cityofsitka.com or pick up an application at the City Hall Utility Office at 100 Lincoln Street, First Floor. For more information, contact the Finance Department at 747-1859.

 

 

Phase 2 CBS CARES Act Business and Nonprofit Grants Application Available

10/07/2020

The City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) is now accepting grant applications from Sitka businesses and nonprofit organizations that have experienced severe economic impacts due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Assembly has authorized expenditure of $3 million in federal CARES Act funds for these grants. The deadline to apply for these grants is October 31. Grant awards are anticipated in November, and all funds must be expended by December 30, 2020. 

 

Applications for the business and nonprofit grants, guidelines and answers to frequently-asked questions are available on the CBS website, www.cityofsitka.org. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the downloadable forms as they include auto-calculation fields to help determine eligibility, and the potential grant amounts for the business applicants.

 

Please contact CARES Act Grant Technician Rob Allen at rob.allen@cityofsitka.org or (907)747-1824 with any questions.

 

Planning Commission Meeting

10/15/2020

The Planning Commission will hold a regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. The meeting is open to the public. NOTE: More information on these agenda items can be found at https://sitka.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx or by contacting the Planning Office at 100 Lincoln Street. Individuals having concerns or comments on any item are encouraged to provide written comments to the Planning Office or make comments at the Planning Commission meeting. Written comments may be dropped off at the Planning Office in City Hall, emailed to planning@cityofsitka.org. Teleconference options can be found at https://www.cityofsitka.com/government/departments/planning/index.html. Those with questions may call (907) 747-1814.

 

 

Reminder: Sales Tax Rate Change

09/23/2020 

As of October 1st, tax is to be collected at a rate of 5% for the months, October, November, and December January, February and March. Long Term Commercial Rental tax remains at 5% year-round. Bed Tax for rentals less than 30 days remains at 6% year-round. If you have any questions about the collection of sales tax within the City and Borough of Sitka, contact the Tax office at 747-1840.

 

 

Property Tax Billing Information

08/14/2020

Due to the COVID-19 related extension of the appeal period for property tax valuations, the 2020 property tax bills were not be issued in early July as they usually are.  The planned date for issuing 2020 property tax bills is now August 31, 2020.  Per the Sitka General Code, taxpayers will have 60 days from the day that bills are issued to remit payment.  Please contact the Tax Office at 747-1853 with any questions.

 

 

Assembly Resolution 2020-26 Encouraging Face Coverings In Public Places

07/29/2020

At their meeting of July 28, the City and Borough of Sitka Assembly approved Resolution 2020-26 encouraging the people in the City and Borough of Sitka to wear masks or cloth face coverings in public places. This resolution is effective immediately and shall remain in effect through September 8, 2020, or until earlier terminated by the Assembly. Click here for a copy of the Resolution.

 

 

Face Masks or Face Coverings in CBS Facilities

07/28/2020

Due to the increase in COVID-19 case counts internationally and in Alaska, effective immediately, all employees, contractors, and visitors to City and Borough of Sitka facilities must wear a face mask or face covering if social distancing of at least six feet or more between individuals cannot be maintained. This applies to entryways, hallways, stairwells, elevators, and personal offices where a six-foot distance cannot be exercised.

 

While City buildings are open, we strongly encourage you to contact us by phone or email as we can provide most services remotely.  Call 747-1818 and select the department you wish to speak with. Or, visit http://www.cityofsitka.com/government/departments/index.html for a list of departments and contact information.

 

Although wearing a face covering is a tool to assist with minimizing the spread of COVID-19, it is no substitute for proper handwashing, hygiene, and practicing social distancing of at least six feet between you and others.  While our actions may not eliminate the virus, these actions will help reduce the spread of the virus to others.  Your actions matter.  Let's all work together to keep Sitkans healthy and our community strong.

 

 

Utility Rate Reminder

07/02/2020

REMINDER:  Summer rates for electricity consumption go into effect July 1st. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lower winter rates were extended for all bills issued through June 30th.  For all billings beginning July 1st residential and general service-small rates are $.1918 per kWh through October 31, 2020, after which the winter rate of $.1204 will go into effect.

 

 

Airport Parking Lot Drop Off and Pick-Up

06/05/2020

The City & Borough of Sitka are requesting the public to use the airport parking lot for passenger drop off and pick-up only. Your cooperation helps in the effort to meet the requirements of Health Mandate 10.1.

 

 

Sales Tax Reminder

05/26/2020

Reminder to all businesses - the Sales Tax rate has increased to 6% effective Wednesday, April 1st and will continue through September 30th for all sales, services, and short-term rentals, unless otherwise exempted. The sales tax rate remains at 5% for long term rental of real property such as trailer space rent. The Transient Room Tax rate remains at 6% year-round.  

 

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Sales Tax Office at (907) 747-1840.

 

 

2020 Census Is Quick and Easy

04/02/2020

Remember that Sitka Counts! Please remind your friends and family to complete the 2020 Census. Responding to the Census guarantees Sitka will receive funding for public health, hospitals, emergency response, public safety, and economic development through 2030. Small actions today make a big difference for our future. Respond online at www.2020census.gov or by calling 1-844-330-2020 (Spanish: 1-844-468-2020 or Tagalog: 1-844-478-2020).

 

 

Unified Command Recommends Cloth Face Coverings - News Release
04/07/2020
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), the City and Borough of Sitka (CBS), Sitka Fire Department, Sitka School District (SSD), and public health officials continue to meet regularly to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Sitka.

The group discussed the recommendation for all Alaskans to use cloth face coverings, specifically in public settings. Masking may reduce the release of respiratory droplets into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including people who have COVID-19 but have no symptoms. Sitkans should ensure the face covering covers both the nose and mouth, and should avoid touching the front of the face covering (because it may be contaminated). Do not remove the face covering until returning home, and when removing, best practice is to grasp the ear loops, ties, or bands and immediately discard or place in a designated container for laundering. Wash your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Volunteers have been busy sewing masks, and there are stocks available in Sitka. If you need a mask, contact the Sitka EOC at pio@cityofsitka.org or at 747-1899.

The Command group urges residents to adhere to all local, state and federal mandates regarding travel, staying at home as much as possible and on the limited occasions when leaving home, to practice physical distancing of 6 feet from others. Continue to practice good hygiene – wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, remain at home when sick, and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces on a regular basis.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of the flu – fever, aching, cough, and shortness of breath. If you are concerned you might have contracted the coronavirus, don’t panic, as the flu or another respiratory virus is still the most likely cause. Contact your healthcare provider for advice. If you choose to visit an emergency department, call ahead to alert staff of your coronavirus concerns and request a mask be brought out to you prior to entering to reduce the risk of exposure. For health questions or COVID concerns, please call the COVID hotline at 966.8799 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Outside of normal clinic hours, patients can contact the SEARHC 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1.800.613.0560 to be triaged by a registered nurse.

Thank you for your cooperation as our community works together to stop any spread of the COVID-19 virus.

 

Tsunami/Earthquake Evacuation Plan During COVID-19 Health Mandates
04/16/2020
In the event of a tsunami or earthquake while we are complying with COVID-19 local orders and state health mandates, here are guidelines to follow:

• Head to high ground or other places you normally would take shelter – e.g. Sitka High School, Keet Gooshi Heen

• Once at high ground, stay in your car if possible

• If you must enter a building try to stay at least 6 feet away from others, don’t touch each other, wear a mask at all times, and wash your hands often and thoroughly

• If weather allows, you may be able to stay outside, however, continue to follow social distancing protocols

In the event of a tsunami or earthquake it is important to remain calm, help each other out when possible, and check with local media for updates.


CBS Temporarily Supspends Policies Regarding Utility Bills

04/03/2020

To assist our citizens in this difficult time, the City and Borough of Sitka is enacting the following temporary policies regarding utility bills.

 

•            The Municipality is suspending all disconnections for non-payment of utility charges (related to COVID-19 impacts) until further notice. This is in alignment with Alaska SB 241 (awaiting Governor’s signature).

 

•            The Municipality is waiving late fees for untimely or partial payment of utility charges (related to COVID-19 impacts) for two billing cycles beginning immediately.

 

All utility charges must eventually be paid, and these policies only apply to late fees and disconnections for non-payments that occurred ONLY after the emergency declaration and must be related to COVID-19 impacts. No past charges will be forgiven. We strongly encourage customers to pay what they are able to pay and to contact our Collections Manager at 747-1859 if they have any concerns.

 

Also, once the emergency ends, any account that becomes past due during the emergency period will be required to agree to a written repayment plan, to be completed in the Finance Department.

 

If you are a commercial business that has temporarily closed, the CBS may be able to reduce your solid waste disposal fees by arranging smaller trash receptacles.

 

If you have any questions, please call utility customer service at 747-1818.

 

 

Message to Incoming Travelers through the Harbor System

03/30/2020 

The City and Borough of Sitka Harbor Department would like to remind all incoming travelers to Sitka through the Harbor System to follow all State of Alaska COVID-19 Health Mandates. Please pay special attention to the mandatory quarantine and social distancing. Click here for access to all health mandates.

 

For further information, contact the Harbor Department at 747-3439.

 

 

EPA Encourages Americans to Only Flush Toilet Paper

03/30/2020

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging all Americans to only flush toilet paper, not disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items that should be disposed of in the trash. Flushing only toilet paper helps ensure that the toilets, plumbing, sewer systems and septic systems will continue working properly to safely manage our nation’s wastewater. While EPA encourages disinfecting your environment to prevent the spread of COVID-19, never flush disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items. These easy steps will keep surfaces disinfected and wastewater management systems working for all Americans.

 

Preventable toilet and sewer backups can pose a threat to human health and present an extra challenge to our water utilities and their workforce. Flushing anything other than toilet paper, including disinfecting wipes, can damage internal plumbing, local sewer systems and septic systems. Fixing these backups is costly and takes time and resources away from ensuring that wastewater management systems are otherwise working properly. EPA thanks wastewater utilities and their workforce for their courageous efforts at a time when resources may be stretched thin. Having fully operational wastewater services is critical to containing COVID-19 and protecting Americans from other public health risks. Our nation’s wastewater employees are everyday heroes who are on the front line of protecting human health and the environment every single day.

 

For the latest information from EPA about COVID-19 and water, see: www.epa.gov/coronavirus.

 

 

SFD Search and Rescue Update

03/27/2020

During this time of social distancing, it is natural to think of heading outdoors for some healthy isolation. However, we want everyone to understand the impact the current situation has on our ability to carry out search and rescue operations.

 

Our ability to mount an effective SAR response has already been impacted in a number of ways. We have members in higher-risk demographics who can only contribute from their homes. Some of our members volunteer in the EMS division or work in healthcare-related jobs, which may take priority over SAR operations at this time. Our field team members will need to minimize interactions at the fire hall, and minimize interactions with each other and the public throughout a response. Because of this, we will be slower to reach lost or injured individuals. Our direct contact with lost or injured people will also put us all at risk of transmitting the virus, regardless of whether anyone is showing symptoms.

 

Please keep this in mind when planning your outdoor activities until the critical period of this public health crisis has passed. Please consider lower-risk activities so your chances of injury are minimized, and please consider sticking to areas you know well so your chances of becoming lost are kept to a minimum as well. Similar messages are being shared by search and rescue organizations around the US.

 

If you are heading out, please leave a clear trip plan with someone in town. If you have any questions regarding this announcement, please contact the Sitka Fire Department at 747-3233.

 

 

COVID-19 Information Center

03/19/2020

The City and Borough of Sitka is working closely with local, state, and federal partners to respond to the rapidly-evolving outbreak of COVID-19, a respiratory illness.

 

The City and Borough of Sitka has created a webpage with detailed information on  COVID-19 and the effects on our community.  To access, visit www.cityofsitka.com and click “City of Sitka COVID-19 Information Center” on the home page.

 

A Public Information Officer line has been created and is monitored weekdays from 8am to 5pm.  That number is 747-1899.  Emails may also be sent to pio@cityofsitka.org.

 

 

Harbor Fee Reminder

03/11/2020 

The Harbor Department would like to remind everyone, starting March 15th fees will be implemented after 24 consecutive hours of use.

 

At the Fishermen’s Work Float and Eliason Harbor Drive Download Zone (reservations required for the drive down).

 

Please contact the Harbor Department at 747-3439 for additional information.