City and Borough of Sitka

Press Releases and Public Service Announcements


March 22nd Power Outage


Some customers on Japonski Island experienced an outage on 3/22/2018 at 10:15AM to 10:48 AM. The outage affected customers on the north side of the island but excluded the airport and the Air Station. The outage was due to a bird strike on Katlian Street. We want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding.



Public Meeting for East DeGroff Utility and Street Improvements

April 5th 5:30-7:00 pm Harrigan Centennial Hall


A public meeting will be held at Harrigan Centennial Hall on April 5th from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. The public is encouraged to attend to see the proposed improvements on the East DeGroff Utility and Street Improvements construction project. The CBS Project Manager will give a description of the project scope and schedule, and discuss anticipated access limitations.  For more information, contact David Longtin, CBS Senior Engineer, at 747-1883 or



Administrator’s Corner – March 2018

Blog from Municipal Administrator Keith Brady


The Administrator’s Corner blog will be a regular feature on


Government gets a bad rap. I’m the first to admit, I have concerns with how our state and federal government is conducting itself. I have heard it many times, I’ve seen it, and I believe it: government is best, closest to the people. The people have more control and say in their local governments. In small communities like ours, you will probably know the elected officials, maybe even grew up with them, or babysat them.


Having been an elected official and now seeing the Assembly grapple with choices they have made and the choices they face, I am reminded of a quote I’ve read by President Theodore Roosevelt, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”


These aren’t just words for elected officials but all those who volunteer, serve and work to better the community in whatever sphere of influence they have. They might stumble, fall, and even be wrong, but at least they are trying something and working towards solutions. I enjoy talking with the people and hearing their concerns, I especially like those who have possible solutions to problems or concerns. To quote President Roosevelt again, “Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.” I know that we might not all have a solution, but if we are willing to seek and entertain possibilities we will be more prosperous than the NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) and those that are resistant to change.


The City and Borough of Sitka has various boards, commissions and committees comprised of volunteer citizens who are interested in helping to shape the future of Sitka. By participating on one of these advisory bodies, YOU can make an important contribution to our community. Commissions make informed recommendations to the Assembly on programs, issues, and permits, and ensures a strong

public voice. Sitka's Boards, Committees and Commissions include the Animal Hearing Board, the Employment Relations Board, the Gary Paxton Industrial Park Board of Directors, Health Needs and Human Services Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Hospital Board, Investment Committee, Library Commission, Local Emergency Planning Committee, Parks and Recreation Committee, the Planning Commission, Police and Fire Commission, Port and Harbors Commission, and the Tree and Landscape Committee. If you’re interested in being considered for a board or commission appointment, please submit an application and letter of interest to the City Clerk's office. Contact Deputy Clerk Melissa Henshaw at 747-1826 for more information and for current openings.


I chose public service to make it work more effectively. I encourage all Sitkans to do the same.



FY2017 Independent Audit Has No Findings or Directed Adjustments


Sitka, Alaska –The City and Borough of Sitka Finance Department recently received the Independent Auditor’s Report and opinion from auditors BDO USA, LLP.


Chief Finance and Administrative Officer Jay Sweeney, said “I am very proud to say that the Municipality had no auditor-directed adjustments and no single audit act findings this year. All prior audit-related issues have been completely resolved. Having a completely clean audit (no findings, no adjustments) is rarely achieved by governmental organizations.”


By City Charter, the Assembly oversees an annual audit by an independent auditor. The report states that an audit includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of significant accounting estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements.


BDO USA, LLP, issued the “opinion, based on their audit and the report of the other auditors, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the respective financial position of the governmental activities, the business-type activities, the aggregate discretely presented component units, each major fund, and the aggregate remaining fund information of the City and Borough of Sitka, as of June 30, 2017, and the respective changes in financial position and, where applicable, cash flows thereof for the year then ended in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America”.


Due to the scope and complexity of the accounting performed by the City and Borough of Sitka, as well as stringent audit standards, it took auditors five months to complete their review.


The finalized audit allows for publishing of the FY2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) which was prepared by municipal staff. Staff spent over 200 hours preparing the report. The CAFR has been submitted to the Government Finance Officers Association for consideration for a Certificate Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.  


Administrator Keith Brady thanked Director Sweeney and the Finance Department for their dedication to excellence. “We are blessed to have such a skilled staff,” said Brady.


Both the BDO USA, LLP, Independent Auditor’s Report and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report are available at under the Finance Department. 


For more information, contact Administration at 907-747-1808.



Planning Commission Meeting Cancelled


The March 8 Planning Commission meeting has been cancelled. At this time, the next scheduled meeting of the Planning Commission will be Thursday, March 22.



The Superior Court Upholds CBS’s Procurement Methodology on GPIP Dock


Sitka, Alaska – The Sitka Superior Court recently ruled in favor of the City and Borough of Sitka’s (CBS) decision to use a design-build contract to procure a multi-purpose dock facility at the Gary Paxton Industrial Park (GPIP).


In 2012, CBS received an approximately $7.5 million grant from the State of Alaska to construct a multi-purpose dock facility at GPIP. During the procurement phase of the project, CBS determined that the cost to construct the project far exceeded the available budget. To meet this challenge, CBS decided that it would use a design-build procurement methodology to obtain the best value at the most economic cost. Upon learning of CBS’s approach, plaintiff Marko Dapcevich argued the City’s Charter only permitted hard dollar competitive bids for public projects. Dapcevich alleged that CBS violated the Charter and filed a Superior Court Complaint on March 30, 2017. The Complaint was amended April 18, 2017, naming Mayor Matthew Hunter and former Municipal Administrator Mark Gorman in their individual capacities.


CBS strongly disagreed with Dapcevich’s claims as the Public Works Department had diligently pursued the most efficient and economical approach to procuring the GPIP floating dock facility. The CBS team thoughtfully reviewed various procurement approaches and properly followed the City Charter and Sitka General Code (Code) in the selection of a contractor for the project. The parties filed a series of motions seeking a judicial decision on their respective legal rights.


After reviewing the motions and conducting an oral argument, the Superior Court upheld CBS’s position on the Charter and Code issuing a sixty-nine page decision establishing that the City’s procurement approach and its interpretation of the Charter and Code was legal. With Dapcevich’s agreement not to appeal, CBS agreed not to seek payment of partial attorney’s fees available by court rule.


The decision promotes the public’s best interest by paving the way for the City’s future use of all modern economic and efficient procurement methods for public improvement projects.


For more information, contact Administration at 907-747-1808.



Crescent Harbor Playground Closed

The Crescent Harbor Playground will be closed Monday, March 5 weather permitting until further notice. Construction will begin for the new playground at the same site. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please contact the City and Borough of Sitka at 747-1804 with any questions.



Sitka Avalanche Advisory


The mountains around Sitka received over 5 inches of new snow within the last 12 hours, which added significant weight to the snowpack. Expected high winds this evening will further load leeward slopes.


Above treeline, dangerous avalanche conditions exist. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making are essential. Stay away from large open slopes steeper than 30-35 degrees if you’re traveling in the mountains over the next few days. If you see evidence of recent avalanches, feel ‘whumpfing’ or see cracks in the snowpack, quickly find the safest way off of the snow.


The City and Borough of Sitka encourages citizens to take precautions.



Love Your Library


Sitka Public Library kicks off a new program, Love Your Library, a community engagement campaign on social media for residents of Sitka to share book & movie recommendations with each other. Every week, Sitka Public Library hopes to post a photo of someone taken at the Library with their favorite library resource and a brief quote about why they love the Library or library resource. It can be any material (book, movie, CD, periodical or materials from the Local History Room) or highlighting a service or program at the Library – or even just the view from the windows! Drop by the Library on Tuesday, February 13, from 6:30 to 7:30, or anytime during Library hours, and tell us why you Love Your Library.


For more information, please call the library at 747-8708.



Electric Meter Accessibility Reminder


With winter approaching, the City and Borough of Sitka’s Electric Department would like to take a moment to remind our customers of the importance of accessibility in regards to your electric meter. Reduced daylight and inclement weather can make reading and servicing your meter more difficult and hazardous during the winter months. The City asks that you please take a few moments to make sure there is a clear path to access your electric meter, as well as clear away any vegetation or other obstructions that may restrict visibility or access to your electrical service. The Electric Department thanks you for your help in making sure that we are able to continue serve you in the safest, most efficient way possible.



Changes to Recycling Program


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 We apologize for any inconvenience.



Changes to the Seasonal Sales Tax Rate and Tax Cap


The City and Borough of Sitka Tax office would like to remind all citizens of changes to the seasonal sales tax and tax cap exemption effective October 1st. The seasonal sales tax will return to the winter rate of 5%, through March 31, 2018, and the tax cap will increase to $12,000. Both will go into effect this Sunday, October 1st. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Tax Office at 747-1840 or email



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



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.



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.