City and Borough of Sitka

Press Releases and Public Service Announcements


Port and Harbors Commission Meeting


The Port and Harbors Commission will meet on Wednesday September 11th, 2019 at 6:00pm at Harrigan Centennial Hall, 330 Harbor Drive. Agenda items include:  long term parking permits (Marine Service Center), Sealing Cove trailer parking lot (no boat on trailers) general parking permits, float plane rates, fish box tax, 1401-1403 HPR tideland lease, SPC month to month lease of Marine Service Center Parking lot.



Local Emergency Planning Commission Meeting


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



Historic Preservation Commission Meeting


The Sitka Historic Preservation Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m. on September 11, 2019 in Harrigan Centennial Hall. The Commission will elect officers for FY20 and consider a proposal for a remodel on Etolin Street. Public comment is welcome. Commission meetings are open to the public.



Health Needs and Human Services Commission Meeting


The Health Needs and Human Services Commission will meet at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 12, 2019, at Harrigan Centennial Hall, 330 Harbor Drive. Agenda items include: Affordability; Substance abuse especially regarding binge drinking in youth; Support creation of a collective impact board; Three-foot bike clearance. The meeting is open to the public.



Library Commission Meeting


The Library Commission will be holding a regular meeting on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 6:00pm in the Gus Adams Room of the Sitka Public Library, 320 Harbor Drive. Items on the agenda include: Discussion/Decision on proposal to confer Commissioner Emeritus upon Alice Johnstone, Discussion/Direction/Decision on Public Works new policy for review of work requests in regard to request for installation of “no idle” signage, and Discussion/Direction/Decision regarding draft service animal and art donation policies.



Transfer Station Closure UPDATE


The Transfer Station will NOT be closed to the public September 9th to September 15th while the truck scale is being replaced. The City and Borough of Sitka Public Works Department was able to come up with an alternate method to do the work, which will not inhibit operations. If you have any questions, please contact the Public Works Department at 747-1804. Thank you.



3Com Phones Available for Free


The City & Borough of Sitka has used 3Com phones available for free to the public on a first come first served basis starting Friday, August 30 with no limit. The phones are operable on a 3Com system only. The phones are located at City Hall, 100 Lincoln Street, second floor in a bin by the vending machine. If you have any questions, contact IS System Administrator Don MacKinnon at 747-1847.



Property Tax is Due by August 30th. Penalty and interest will be applied if payments are not made or postmarked by 5:00pm on August 30th.


Property tax payments may be made in person between 10AM and 4PM at the Utility Office on the first floor of City Hall, located at 100 Lincoln Street. Payments left in the drop boxes (either outside of City Hall or outside of the first floor Utility Office) will be considered on time if placed in a drop box by 5PM August 30th.  Credit card payments may also be made online at or by calling 907-747-1818.



Crescent and Eliason Harbor Pump Out Stations Closed


The sewage pump out stations at Crescent and Eliason Harbor are closed for repairs until further notice. Harbor users are being asked to use Thomson Harbor pump out station. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Harbor office at 747-3439.



Cross Trail – Small Amount of Explosives Found


A community member reported finding explosive material late Tuesday, July 30, on the Cross Trail just north of the Charteris Street trailhead.  Upon inspection, 8 ½ sticks of explosive material was discovered approximately 30 feet off the trail in a plastic bag tucked under a log. The Sitka Fire Department closed the trail and immediately notified the State Emergency Operations Center. A FBI Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit and State Fire Marshall were dispatched to Sitka and arrived at 11:45 a.m., July 31. The team is working with the Sitka Fire Department and Sitka Police Department to secure, remove, and destroy the explosives. During this process, the City asks that residents stay away from the Cross Trail area – specifically from Sitka High School to Cascade Creek Road until 6:00 p.m. this evening. Please contact the Fire Hall at 747-3233 with any questions.



Utility Cost Subsidization Program Opportunity


The City and Borough of Sitka will accept applications for the 2020 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, 2020. An appointment with the Finance Department may be required. Please click here to access an online application and instructions, or you can pick up an application at the Utility Office on the 1st floor of City Hall at 100 Lincoln Street. For more information, contact the Finance Department at 747-1859.



Local Emergency Planning Commission Recess/Summer


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


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%


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.



Sitka Comprehensive Plan 2030 winner of American Planning Association Award


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 under the Planning and Community Development Department. 



Senior Sales Tax Exemption Update


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.



Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport Terminal Improvement Project Update


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


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


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


















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


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 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

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.