City and Borough of Sitka

Press Releases and Public Service Announcements

 

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.

 

 

Electrical Outage

9/17/2018  

The City and Borough of Sitka encourages citizens to check all life safety devices, such as fire alarms, carbon monoxide monitors, etc. after the recent power outage. A system wide electrical outage occurred on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 5:33 p.m. when a contractor working on the DeGroff Street Road Improvement Project impacted a utility pole guy wire. The outage began at 5:33 p.m. and was restored by 9:33 p.m. Any problems with appliances or other systems should be reported to your homeowners insurance. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Utility Desk at 747-1818.

 

 

East DeGroff Utility and Street Improvements

8/7/2018 

The City and Borough of Sitka and contractor K&E Alaska, Inc., continue to work at the intersection of Sawmill Creek Road (SMC) and Park Street. The intersection will be open to one lane of traffic while K&E installs a sewer manhole in SMC. Please comply with traffic control signs that will route traffic through the work zone. We apologize for any inconvenience. For more information about this project, contact the Public Works Department at 747-1883 or K&E Alaska, Inc. at 747-3838.

 

 

Nelson Logging Road Access

8/3/2018 

K & E Alaska will resume construction on Nelson Logging Road on Monday, August 6th at 7am. The road will be closed from 7am-7pm Monday through Friday and will be open from Daylight to Dusk on the weekends.

 

For more information please contact the City and Borough of Sitka Public Works Department at 907‐747‐1804 or K&E Alaska, Inc. at 907‐747‐3838.

 

 

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.

 

 

Property Tax Bills Mailed

7/12/2018                

The City and Borough of Sitka Finance Department would like to notify and remind taxpayers, real and personal property tax bills have been mailed and are due Friday, September 14th, 2018. Property taxes not paid (or postmarked) by 4:45 p.m., September 14th, 2018 will become delinquent, with progressive penalty and set interest applied. Payments may be made by mail, online, in person at the City Hall Customer Service Desk, or by phone between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. by calling 747-1818. Taxpayers with questions regarding their bill may contact the Finance Department Billing Office at 747-1853.

 

 

2018 Property Tax bills to be released July 16th

7/5/2018

The City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) 2018 property taxes are due this year by September 14th. Property tax bills will be mailed to all property owners on July 16th.

 

Real property assessment notices were released in early March. Assessing Director, Wendy Lawrence, stated staff worked hard to bring all assessments up to date in a fair, uniform and equitable way. “Most property owners saw an increase of approximately 3.6% 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 Tax payments are payable between July 16th and September 14th. Citizens can pay their property taxes beginning July 16th at the Utility Desk, 1st floor of City Hall. Many mortgage companies incorporate property taxes into the monthly amount due, so please verify with your mortgage company prior to payment.

 

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.

 

 

Notice to Autopay Users

6/11/2018

Moorage autopay users will need to re-enroll their credit card information to continue autopay services. The City and Borough of Sitka is changing credit card systems to be in compliance with federal guidelines. For the safety of our customers, we cannot transfer the information. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please contact the Utility Desk at 747-1818 or Harbor Office at 747-3439 as soon as possible to update your information.

 

 

Changes to Senior Sales Tax Exemption

6/07/2018 

The City and Borough of Sitka will be making changes to the senior sales tax exemption beginning July 2018. Recently the Assembly voted to change the senior sales tax exemption to the need based rebate program. Starting July 1st, senior citizens will no longer be exempt from paying applicable sales taxes on their purchases. Those 65 and older, and receiving assistance, may be eligible for a rebate. Applications can be submitted to the Finance Department between January 1, 2019 – March 31, 2019. Rebates will then be issued to qualified applicants in July, 2019. For more information, visit www.cityofsitka.com or call the Finance Department at 747-1840.

 

 

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.

 

 

FY2017 Independent Audit Has No Findings or Directed Adjustments

3/12/2018  

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 www.cityofsitka.com under the Finance Department. 

 

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

 

 

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

3/02/2018 

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.

 

 

Love Your Library

2/05/2018

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.

 

 

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.