SPL Accepts Most Major Credit/Debit Cards
Sitka Public Library now accepts most major credit/debit cards for electronic payments on library account balances. Patrons can make these payments by accessing their account page from the library’s electronic catalog, using their library card number and PIN. In person payments to Sitka Public Library may still be made by cash or check.
The new system has been put in place to increase convenience and efficiency, as a feature of our being part of the Alaska Joint Library Consortium, which allows over 60% of Alaskans to share resources among public, academic, and research libraries around the state. To receive assistance with making online payments, or for any further information, please visit us at 320 Harbor Drive, call (907) 747-8708, or email email@example.com.
Assessing Department releases Property Assessment Notices
Assessment Review Period through April 14th
Sitka, Alaska –The City and Borough of Sitka Assessing Department recently mailed real property assessment notices for the 2017 tax year. Property taxes are due August 31st.
Assessing Director, Wendy Lawrence, stated staff has been working hard to bring all assessments up to date in a fair, uniform and equitable way. “Most property owners will see an increase of approximately 8% on this year’s assessment,” Lawrence said.
State of Alaska law requires Assessors to value all taxable property at 100% of its true and fair market value in dollars, according to the highest and best use of the property (AS 29.45.110). When determining values, Lawrence relies on comparable sales prices and relevant market data.
Property owners are encouraged to visit the Assessing Office to review assessments, discuss property details or learn more about the valuation methodology. If you feel there is an error, have market data or an appraisal that supports a different value, please submit the information to the Assessor for consideration during the review period of March 14th to April 14th.
Citizens have the right to file a formal appeal, in writing, prior to 4 pm on April 14th. The Assembly sits as the Board of Equalization and will adjudicate on filed appeals on May 1st.
The Sitka taxbase had a net increase in real property values of $48,644,200. Real property gains included an estimated $14,700,000 in new construction, and were offset by a net decrease of -$2,318,230 due to continued increases in exemptions, primarily the senior-citizen and disabled-veteran exemptions.
The City and Borough of Sitka general fund revenue will increase by approximately $125,000 due to higher real property values.
For more information, contact the Sitka Assessing Department at 907-747-1822.
2017 Spring Clean-Up
SPL Magazine Subscription Survey Request
Sitka Public Library needs your help. The periodical market has changed a lot in recent years. Many readers have moved on to web-based or digital content for their information. Cover and subscription prices have fluctuated. Some titles have even been cancelled. Our print magazine subscriptions cost thousands of dollars each year. To best serve our patrons and to most effectively use our resources, we want to gather your feedback about use/demand for magazines, which titles are being read, what subjects are most popular, and whether any changes should be made to our list of subscriptions and/or available formats. To participate, simply complete our online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DXTTLPX by April 3. The survey may also be found on our website and Facebook page. If you would prefer to take the survey in print, hard copies will be available at the Library. If you have any additional feedback or require further information, please contact Robb Farmer at (907) 747-8708 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Film Noir Club Screens "Force of Evil" at SPL
Sitka Public Library’s Film Noir Club screens the 1948 classic noir “Force of Evil,” starring John Garfield and Thomas Gomez, Saturday, April 1, at 7 p.m., at the Library.
This event is free to the public. Everyone is welcome. Refreshments will be provided. Call the library at 747-8708 for more information.
SPD Reports Business Burglaries
The Sitka Police Department has had reports of six burglaries to small businesses in the past 3 months. SPD has made arrests in two of the burglaries and charges are pending against two suspects.
The most recent unsolved burglary occurred last night and there are similarities in how the crimes are being committed:
SPD is committed to tracking down and arresting the person(s) responsible for these crimes. Please report any suspicious activity, secure your property the best you can, and consider crime prevention technology like video and alarm systems for commercial and personal property.
If you have information about these or any other crimes, please call the SPD at 747-3245 or you can remain anonymous by calling the Crime Line at 747-8980.
Sitka Ranked 5th Safest City in Alaska
Sitka, Alaska – The City and Borough of Sitka was recently designated as one of the safest cities in Alaska by SafeWise, source for Home Security and Safety advice. SafeWise compared criminal activity and the FBI Crime Report statistics from 2015, along with population data, to determine that Sitka was the 5th Safest City in Alaska.
SafeWise noted Sitka has 1.58 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 16.61 property crimes per 1,000 people. Last year Sitka was ranked 8th throughout the State.
Cordova, ranked 1st, Unalaska, ranked 2nd, Haines, ranked 3rd, and Wrangell, ranked 4th, were the other communities on the SafeWise Safest Cities in Alaska list. None of the safest cities reported a murder and only one reported a robbery. For more information, visit www.safewise.com.
Green Lake Hydro Plant Back in Service
The Green Lake Hydro plant was returned to service on January 7, 2017, nearly 84 days after the inspection of the dam intake gate revealed a failed hydraulic cylinder. This critical dam safety device was a 35 year old carbon steel hydraulic cylinder located at the bottom of a 165 deep shaft within the Green Lake dam. Green Lake power plant is a very valuable asset for this community and this gate protects the plant in the event of a major failure. This gate needs to function properly to protect the plant, our employees, and the community. It has been replaced with a new stainless steel version and the plant is back in service providing clean, reliable and inexpensive power to our community.
The work required to replace this gate was extensive. Not only should we thank the Electric Department crews that spent day after day at the bottom of the 165ft deep shaft but also the Fire Department, Search and Rescue crews, and topside staff that helped us work safely. Additionally, City staff, including Public Works and the Electric Department, worked tirelessly during the holidays to ensure that the Green Lake roads were clear and that our diesel generation remained in service. We should also thank Petro Marine, Delta Western, AML and Sampson for keeping fuel available and getting our critical parts to us quickly.
As a community, we need to continue to inspect, test, repair and replace the critical equipment in our aging infrastructure to ensure that we avoid long, unplanned electrical outages. Again, we want to thank our customers for their patience and support. Please remember… “It was brand new in ‘82”.
Sitka receives grant from Rasmuson Foundation for William Stortz Gallery
Sitka, Alaska –The Rasmuson Foundation recently announced that the City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) has been awarded a $15,000 grant for the William Stortz Gallery. The Tier 1 grant is for installation of lighted display cases on the 2nd floor foyer of City Hall. The project should be completed by December 31, 2017.
On December 2, 2015 the second floor foyer was dedicated as the “William Stortz Gallery,” to feature local artists’ work to the public. Willam Stortz was CBS’s Building Official who was lost in the August 18, 2015 landslides. Norm Campbell and The Greater Sitka Arts Council manage the gallery’s exhibitions and were instrumental in securing the grant.
Rasmuson Foundation was created in May 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband E.A. Rasmuson. The Foundation is a catalyst to promote a better life for all Alaskans.
For more information, contact Administration at 907-747-1808.
Jeff Davis Street Phase 1 Complete
The City and Borough of Sitka announces the reopening of Jeff Davis Street effective immediately. Phase 1 of the Jeff Davis Street reconstruction project, from Sawmill Creek Road to John Brady Street, has been completed. The Hames Center and Sheldon Jackson Child Care Center can now be accessed from either direction.
Phase 1 of the reconstruction project included replacement of the water line, provided sewer service stubs to 6 previously unserved lots, and replaced storm drainage infrastructure, sidewalks, curb & gutter and pavement. Phase 2 of the project will commence in early spring and will continue improvements from John Brady intersection to Lincoln Street. Additional road closure notices will be advertised as the project proceeds.
The Jeff Davis Street Reconstruction Project is being funded by a $644,000 Municipal Matching Grant from Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, an $812,000 loan from Alaska Drinking Water Fund, and the City and Borough of Sitka General Fund. The construction contract was awarded to Coastal Excavation, LLC. for $1,094,005.75.
The mission of the City and Borough of Sitka Public Works Department is to provide, control, and maintain reliable and cost-effective public works facilities and systems in a manner that emphasizes customer satisfaction, public service, and the long-term interest of the community.
For more information, contact Public Works at 907-747-1806.
Changes to Electric Utility Policies
The City and Borough of Sitka Assembly recently approved changes to the Electric Utility Policies, including elimination of courtesy disconnection notices, increased fees for disconnects, rate increases and other changes to service connection, billing and credit policies. If you need information about the many convenient ways to pay your bill or are struggling to pay, contact the City and Borough of Sitka at 747-1818.
Sales Tax Rate Change
As of October 1st, tax is to be collected at a rate of 5% for the months, October, November, December, January, February, and March. Tax on Long Term Commercial Rental of Real Property remains at 5% year round. Bed Tax on 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, visit the Tax Office on the second floor of City Hall in the Finance Department, Monday through Friday, 8:00AM to 5:00PM or call 747-1840.
Utility Assistance Program
Go Paperless with the City
The City now offers paperless billing and online bill pay for utility accounts. You can also view and print statements, view consumption statements, and reprint bills.
To access your account, you will need a PIN number designated to your account.
Please call 747-1818 to receive your PIN number and instruction on how to access your account online.
Moller Park Playground Closures
The west and east playgrounds at Lower Moller Park are closed until further notice. The City and Borough of Sitka’s number one priority is safety and a recent audit shows that the playgrounds are not in compliance with safety standards. The City and Borough of Sitka Parks and Recreation Department apologizes for the inconvenience. For more information, call Public Works Department at 747-1804.
Utility Customer Service Hours at City Hall
Effective December 1st, Utility Customer Service hours at City hall will be 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Telephonic Customer Service will be limited.