City and Borough of Sitka

Press Releases and Public Service Announcements

 

Police and Fire Commission Meeting

07/19/19

The Police & Fire Commission will meet Wednesday, July 26 at 6:00 PM in Centennial Hall.  Item on the agenda is the Parking Citation Hearing Board. This meeting is open to the public.

 

 

Candidate Filing Period Open for Assembly and School Board

07/15/19

The following vacancies are to be filled through a regular election of the City and Borough of Sitka on October 1, 2019:  two Assembly member seats (three-year terms) and one School Board member seat (three-year term). Candidates for Assembly must be qualified voters and have resided continuously in the municipality during the twelve months immediately before the election in order to run. Candidates for School Board must be qualified voters in the municipality for 30 days immediately before the election. Candidate packets are available in the Municipal Clerk’s office at City Hall located at 100 Lincoln Street, third floor. The filing period closes at 5:00 PM on Friday, August 2. Please contact the Municipal Clerk’s Office at 747-1811 or sara.peterson@cityofsitka.org for further information.

 

 

Local Emergency Planning Commission Recess/Summer

06/17/19

The Local Emergency Planning Committee will recess for the summer. Regular monthly meetings will resume September 12, 2019 and continue monthly on the second Thursday of each month at noon in the Fire Hall. Meetings are open to the public. 

 

 

Drinking Water Notice

05/20/19

Sitka is very fortunate to have extremely high quality drinking water from Blue Lake. The current ATSDR report concludes “the potential exposure to dioxin in the water is not of public health concern”. Click here to enter the Public Works webpage to read the ATSDR Report and Environmental Evaluation of Pollutants Report regarding dioxin within our drinking water source at Blue Lake and general Sitka area. If you have any questions in regards to the drinking water in Sitka, please contact Public Works at 747-1804.

 

 

Seasonal Sales Tax Increase to 6%

04/02/19

Reminder to all businesses - the Sales Tax rate has increased to 6% effective Monday, 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.

 

 

CBS AND SEARHC Update Affiliation Agreements

3/27/2019  

SITKA, March 27, 2019 – The City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) and SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) are updating the affiliation agreements to simplify the way ownership of Sitka Community Hospital (SCH) is transferred in the Asset Purchase Agreement (APA). This change is necessary because part of the compliance review for SCH—which does not affect the sale to SEARHC—is taking longer than initially expected.  Because the review is not required to be part of the sale, the CBS and SEARHC teams agreed that it would be best to complete the sale and the compliance review separately. 

 

This change will have two primary effects: first, acute care hospital and emergency services will move to Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital immediately when the sale closes. Long-term care and Mountainside and Oceanside Clinic services will not be affected by this change and will remain in their current locations. Second, the amount of money CBS will be required to place in escrow as part of the transaction will be significantly reduced, because CBS will now pay any outstanding SCH liabilities directly when they come due.

 

“We continue to be thorough in our review and completion of the agreements. By making this change now, and given SEARHC’s willingness to work with us, we are able to stay on track,” said CBS Municipal Administrator Keith Brady. “This change will not affect the remaining key terms outlined in the APA and Lease Agreements.” The CBS Assembly is scheduled to review and vote on the final documents on April 15, after which they will go before the SEARHC Board for consideration and approval.

 

“Simplifying the transfer of services arrangement ultimately benefits the community, CBS and SEARHC,” said Brady. “The community can continue counting on accessible healthcare services; CBS will have access to funds that could otherwise have been tied up in escrow; and SEARHC can streamline the transition of services.”

 

Attorneys from both organizations are working to modify the agreements in preparation for April 15. The CBS Negotiating Team intends to distribute revised documents to the Assembly and release them to the public as soon as they are available (not later than Monday, April 8).

 

 

2019 Business Property Assessment Declarations

1/25/2019

The Assessor’s Office has mailed out the 2019 Business Property Assessment Declarations to all persons and businesses on its mailing list. All persons owning or controlling personal and business property not exempted from taxation must submit a declaration to the Assessor’s Office on or before February 15th of every year. If a Declaration is not filed, or it is filed after the due date, it will be subject to a $100.00 failure to file fee, per Sitka General Code 4.12.055. Types of property which must be listed, include, but are not limited to:

 Construction equipment, machinery, tools, office equipment, furniture, and fixtures, leased goods, Aircraft, and rental furnishings.

If you would like to receive assessing notices or updates electronically you may submit your e-mail to: assessing@cityofsitka.org. If you have not received a declaration form, you may obtain one by visiting our website at

www.cityofsitka.com/government/departments/assessing/forms, or by calling the Assessor’s Office at 747-1822.

 Business property declarations are due by 4:45 p.m. February 15, 2018. Failure to file is a misdemeanor, per Alaska State Statute 29.45.140.

 

 

Draft Hospital Agreement Nearing Completion

1/23/2019 

Sitka, Alaska – The City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) and SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) are nearing completion of the draft Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) and Lease Agreement in support of developing Sitka’s integrated healthcare delivery system. The negotiating teams met on January 18 and made progress on three essential issues namely the limitation of liabilities to CBS; the provision and expansion of clinical services, including quality tracking reports and a timeframe to break ground on the new campus; and the governance structure.

 

“Negotiations continue to move along extremely well,” commented CBS Municipal Administrator Keith Brady. “Both parties are working constructively to reach an agreement that will meet the Assembly’s goals and the community’s long-term healthcare needs.”

 

At the meeting, the teams focused on ensuring the APA and lease parallel one another and also reached agreement on the list of services provided by SCH that SEARHC will continue to provide the community, including primary care, long-term care and surgery. Additionally, the teams agreed on the components of a charter for the Sitka Community Health Council in support of effective governance that ensures ongoing community input on SEARHC’s delivery of healthcare services in the future.

 

“We are in the home stretch with the end in sight,” said SEARHC President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Clement. “We’re focused on the final complex issues, and everyone is working hard and fully cooperating to resolve these issues in a thoughtful and reasonable manner.”

 

Prior to the negotiating teams meeting again on January 28, the CBS team and consultants will review SEARHC’s response to the due diligence and prepare the APA’s exhibits to ensure they accurately reflect the most critical issues discussed. On January 28, the teams will engage in another round of in-depth discussions on the three proposed financing options to ensure a complete understanding in support of making a recommendation to the Assembly at the special session on January 29. It’s anticipated that the final drafts of the APA and lease will be available in February for the Assembly’s final approval in March.

 

The City and Borough of Sitka’s mission is to assure quality public services that provide for the well-being of the citizens. To provide the best service, budget management, and planning for the future of our community. Stay connected to the City and Borough of Sitka! Visit us online at www.cityofsitka.com; like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityandboroughofsitka; follow us on Twitter @cbsitka, and Instagram @cbsitka, Or call Administration, 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at 907-747-1808.

 

 

Sitka Comprehensive Plan 2030 winner of American Planning Association Award

1/18/2019 

Sitka, Alaska –The City and Borough of Sitka recently reported that the Sitka Comprehensive Plan 2030 was awarded the 2018 Comprehensive Plan Award by the American Planning Association Alaska Chapter.

 

Community Affairs Director and Project Manager Maegan Bosak traveled to Anchorage early this week to present on public engagement strategies used during the comprehensive plan process and accepted the award. “I am very proud to accept this award and would like to thank team members Barbara Sheinberg, Michael Scarcelli and Samantha Pierson, as well as the Planning Commission and citizens of Sitka for all their hard work.”

 

This award recognizes a comprehensive plan completed within the past three years that demonstrates public participation and innovative or visionary approaches. The Sitka Comprehensive Plan 2030 was built upon a robust and varied community outreach program and vigorous community discussion. Six points important to plan development and its use include: public outreach, addressing resistance, identifying 11 land use and future growth challenges and opportunities, finding a balance between a readable, easy-to-use plan and technical data that supported the plan development, winning and using a 2017 EPA Smart Growth America Sustainable Land Use Code Audit Technical Assistance grant, and a strong start to plan implementation.

 

The comprehensive plan process began in early 2016 and the final document was unanimously approved by the Assembly in May 2018. The plan focuses on setting a vision for the community up to the year 2030, in the areas of economic development, housing, historic cultural and arts resources, borough facilities, transportation, parks trails and recreation, and land use.

 

Administrator Keith Brady thanked Director Bosak and the team for their dedication to the project. “We are blessed to have such skilled staff,” said Brady.

 

Both the Sitka Comprehensive Plan 2030 and the technical document are available at www.cityofsitka.com under the Planning and Community Development Department. 

 

 

CBS and SEARHC Address Key Elements and Move Closer to Final Hospital Agreement

12/21/2018 

The City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) and SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) met in Sitka on December 19 to continue negotiating the agreement for developing Sitka’s healthcare system. The negotiating teams were solution-oriented, and primary discussion points centered on specific elements in the proposed asset purchase agreement (APA). Those elements included next steps in moving forward with the lease for Sitka Community Hospital (SCH); and governance, specifically the initial draft charter for the “Community Health Council” and identifying opportunities to refine and strengthen community input. 

“We continue making progress toward defining both parties’ requirements and resolving key issues to ensure the Assembly’s goals are achieved,” stated CBS Municipal Administrator Keith Brady. “Our communication remains open with a willingness to think outside of the box.”

 

During the meeting, CBS and SEARHC agreed on an effective method for limiting both parties’ liabilities and had further dialog regarding accountabilities, assurances and remedies in meeting the terms of the APA in alignment with CBS’s goals. SEARHC agreed to regularly report to the Assembly on its performance under the APA, and the CBS team agreed to draft a schedule of clinical services to ensure consistent access to care prior to the opening of the new hospital and thereafter.

 

Also discussed and resolved were issues surrounding employee transition, including transfer of paid-time-off (PTO) hours and an agreed-upon approach to transition planning, which is anticipated to begin in January.

 

“We are definitely headed in the right direction,” commented SEARHC President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Clement. “We reinforced our tremendous opportunities, in healthcare and beyond, for both parties to generate meaningful results for our community.”

 

The CBS negotiating team includes SCH CEO Robert Allen, Dr. Roger Golub, CBS Municipal Administrator Keith Brady, CBS Chief Finance and Administrative Officer Jay Sweeney, CBS Attorney Brian Hanson, Consultant Steve Huebner, Consultant Sarah Cave and Counsel Sandra Johnson. SEARHC’s negotiating team includes President and CEO Charles Clement, Senior Vice President Dan Neumeister, Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Michael Douglas and Carla DewBerry of K&L Gates.

 

The next iteration of the draft APA will be completed in time for the scheduled January 7 meeting in Sitka. The January 18 meeting in Seattle will focus on resolving any outstanding significant issues in the APA.

 

 

Senior Sales Tax Exemption Update

11/09/2018 

The City and Borough of Sitka Senior Sales Tax Exemption has been reinstated.  Per Sitka General Code, any person, sixty-five years of age or older, who is a resident of Alaska, may show their previously issued Sales Tax Exemption Card to receive the exemption from paying sales tax on the purchase of goods, services, or rentals for personal use or consumption.  If you no longer have your card or are newly eligible, exemption cards will be issued weekdays at City Hall, in the Sales Tax Office located on the 2nd floor, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A $25.00 fee will apply to all new applications and a $5 fee for replacement cards.  Any person who has not yet obtained a City and Borough of Sitka issued Sales Tax Exemption Card may continue to use their state issued ID through the end of November.  Contact the Finance Department at 747-1840 with any questions.

 

 

Assessing News - Real and Personal Property Inspections

 9/17/2018

The City and Borough of Sitka would like to inform citizens of state and local law requiring real and personal property to be regularly inspected for annual taxation purposes.  In order to meet this mandate and revalue over 4,800 properties annually the Assessing Department divides the borough into six sections for reinspection each year.  This year’s area of reinspection is generally the north-end of Halibut Point Road and island properties.

The Assessing Department strives to clearly communicate the current area of inspection and duties while there.  The department inspects properties year-round with a goal of inspecting at least 700 properties each year. Please note, Alaska Statute 29.45.130 grants the department legal authority to inspect real and personal property for taxation purposes, within reasonable times throughout the day. As a practice we will be inspecting properties generally from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily Monday through Friday.  Please ask for this letter of introduction if you encounter our appraisers on your property; it outlines the authority to inspect and identifies the appraiser for your security. 

 

Our standard protocol is to notify the area of inspection through public website announcements, conduct an initial knock on the door when onsite, and then proceed with an inspection unless asked to leave.  If asked to leave the property, the appraiser will value the property to the best of their ability from the street; any inaccuracies as a result are the responsibility of the owner to correct during the informal appeal period of March 15th to April 15th.  If you have questions or concerns about Assessing staff being on your property, please contact the Assessing Department at 747-1822 to discuss.

 

The City and Borough of Sitka’s mission is to assure quality public services that provide for the well-being of the citizens. To provide the best service, budget management, and planning for the future of our community. Stay connected to the City and Borough of Sitka!  Visit us online at www.cityofsitka.com; like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityandboroughofsitka; follow us on Twitter @cbsitka, and Instagram @cbsitka, Or call Administration, 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at 907-747-1808.

 

 

Utility Cost Subsidization Program Opportunity

7/31/2018
The City and Borough of Sitka will accept applications for the Utility Cost Subsidization Program beginning August 1st 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, 2019. An appointment with the Finance Department may be required. Applications are available at City Hall. For more information, contact the Finance Department at 747-1859.

 

 

Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport Terminal Improvement Project Update

7/20/2018

Stakeholders from Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, TSA, ADOT&PF, SEDA, Airport Terminal Tenants, CBS staff, community members and the design consultant met for a design workshop and unanimously picked one of the options to develop to the 35% schematic design milestone. Attached is a copy of the slide presentation, sketches, meeting notes, photos, and updated project description.

 

 

Protecting Blue Lake Watershed

4/26/2018 

The City and Borough of Sitka requests citizen’s help in protecting our Blue Lake Watershed. Water is a fragile and precious resource, essential to all forms of life and to our economies. Water resources are affected by both natural and human activities. Help us preserve and protect the water quality by picking up your trash and pet waste. Practice responsible recreation in our watershed and leave no trace. Clean water starts with you. For more information, contact the CBS Environmental Superintendent at 747-4060.

 

 

Residential Electric Summer Seasonal Rate Change- Effective

April 1, 2018

4/11/2018   

The City and Borough of Sitka would like to remind our residential customers that as of April 1st electrical rates increased to the summer seasonal rate of $0.192 per kWh. This rate will continue until the last billing cycle in September when rates will again reduce to the winter seasonal rate of $0.120 per kWh.

 

Electric Utility Director Bryan Bertacchi, says the intent of including a seasonal electrical rate was to benefit year round residents. “Our resident community members benefited during the cold winter months with very low electric rates.  As a not-for-profit business, increasing the rates in April allows us to share the cost of our community owned electric utility with the seasonal visitors and provides the mechanism to keep our winter rates very low.”

 

Ordinance 2017-06S was approved by the Assembly on March 28, 2017, with a 4-1 vote. The ordinance permits a seasonal rate structure with lower kWh rates in the winter months and higher kWh rates in the summer. 

 

Some citizen’s utility bills are affected to a greater degree due to utility bill cycles. Utility bills are broken into 4 cycles. The electrical consumption generated in March but billed in April, will be charged the seasonal summer rate. The opposite occurs in the fall, the electrical consumption generated in September but billed in October, will be charged the seasonal winter rate.

 

Cycle Number

Start Date (of the month)

End Date (of the month)

Bill Date

1

7th

6th

7th

2

14th

13th

14th

3

21st

20th

21st

4

28th

27th

28th

 

Example: Cycle 1 would have a Start Date of March 7th, an End Date of April 6th, and a Bill Date of April 7th.

 

Electric utility bills consist of the period consumption, multiplied by the seasonal rate, plus the base customer charge, currently $20.48.

 

For more information, contact the Electric Department at 747-4000.

 

 

Changes to Recycling Program

11/07/2017

The City and Borough of Sitka Recycling Center will no longer be accepting Plastics 3 through 7 or mixed paper for recycle. Worldwide demand for recyclable products has declined and forced Republic Services, our waste collection contractor, to stop accepting the materials. Cardboard, Tin, Aluminum, glass, and plastics 1 and 2 will continue to be collected. For more information, visit cityofsitka.com. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

 

Changes to Electric Utility Policies
11/02/2016 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.

 

Moller Park Playground Closures
03/11/2016

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
12/1/2014

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.