City and Borough of Sitka

Press Releases and Public Service Announcements


Notice of Vacancy - Employment Relations Board/Employee Representative


Pursuant to Ordinance 2005-30, collective bargaining is allowed for municipal employees. The same ordinance requires an Employee Relations Board be established consisting of three members: employee representative, assembly representative, and one representative selected by the employee and assembly representatives. This is a notice of vacancy for the employee representative position on this board. If you are interested in being the employee representative, or wish to nominate someone else for this position, please submit a completed Declaration of Candidacy form signed by the candidate to the Municipal Clerk. Click here for more information.



Police and Fire Commission Meeting


The Police & Fire Commission will meet Wednesday, January 27th at 6:00 PM in Centennial Hall. Items on the agenda include election of Chairperson and Vice-Chair, approval of By-Laws and long term harbor parking permits. This meeting is open to the public.


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and state health mandates encouraging residents to practice social distancing, and limit group gatherings, individuals that would like to participate by teleconference can contact or call 747-3349 by 10:00 AM the day of the meeting to obtain information to join the meeting.



City and Borough of Sitka Encourages Residents to prepare for Potential Severe Winter Weather


Sitka, AK – The City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) wants to ensure that residents are prepared for this winter’s severe weather.  Severe winter weather may be accompanied by strong winds, flooding, landslides, heavy rain/snow and at times severe cold temperatures.  In these extreme cases, residents must be prepared for prolonged power outages, difficult to impossible travel, and stores and businesses being closed.  CBS encourages all residents to stay informed of changing weather conditions, build home emergency kits, have family and business emergency plans, check on your property often, and take some simple steps to mitigate the impacts of severe weather.


Public Works Director Michael Harmon stated, “CBS encourages residents to make preparations before the severe weather hits. These precautions can help keep you and your family safe and protect your home.”


Stay Informed – Monitor changing winter weather conditions and receive emergency alerts.

    • Monitor the National Weather Center Juneau Forecast office at
    • Have a battery operated radio to monitor news and weather in case of a power outage.

Build an Emergency Kit – Have an emergency kit in your home and car in case you lose power and/or are isolated during severe winter weather.

    • For Your Home – Have enough food, water, batteries, medicine and other supplies in an emergency kit to last for at least 72 hours.

Make an Emergency Plan – Make a plan with your family and household members for what to do and how to communicate in an emergency.

    • Identify friends or family that you might stay with if you lose power during cold weather.
    • If you receive medical treatments or home health care services, work with your medical provider to determine how to maintain care and service if you are unable to leave your home for a period of time during a winter storm.
    • If you have transportation needs, work with local transportation providers to plan ahead for accessible transportation.
    • Provide every family member with the name, address, and phone number of the family’s emergency contact.

Prepare your home – Prepare your home for severe weather by taking steps to ensure safety.

    • Clean gutters and make sure drainage is free of debris and flowing away from you foundation.  Report any street culverts or ditches that are plugged or have debris.
    • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches.
    • Make sure flashlights and candles are accessible in case of a power outage.
    • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
    • Check that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
    • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them.
    • Insulate your home, and take other actions to prepare your home for winter weather.
    • Keep ice melt on hand and shovel snow to prevent ice build up.

Winterize your vehicle and/or boat – Prepare your property for severe weather and check on it often especially during severe weather.

  • Put on winter tires, have a pair of chains, ice scrapers, and emergency kits.
  • Add antifreeze as needed or heat to any water systems.
  • Check bulge pumps, batteries, power connections, and have backups.
  • Include emergency contact information in window.

Additionally, winter storms can cause extended power outages which can be dangerous during extreme cold weather. Have alternate phone charging methods, learn how to use your emergency generator safely, plan for your unique medical needs and take other steps to prepare for power outages.


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


For more information, visit the Emergency Preparedness portion of the city’s website



Reminder: Sales Tax Rate Change


As of October 1st, tax is to be collected at a rate of 5% for the months, October, November, and December January, February and March. Long Term Commercial Rental tax remains at 5% year-round. Bed Tax for 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, contact the Tax office at 747-1840.



Assembly Resolution 2020-26 Encouraging Face Coverings In Public Places


At their meeting of July 28, the City and Borough of Sitka Assembly approved Resolution 2020-26 encouraging the people in the City and Borough of Sitka to wear masks or cloth face coverings in public places. This resolution is effective immediately and shall remain in effect through September 8, 2020, or until earlier terminated by the Assembly. Click here for a copy of the Resolution.



Face Masks or Face Coverings in CBS Facilities


Due to the increase in COVID-19 case counts internationally and in Alaska, effective immediately, all employees, contractors, and visitors to City and Borough of Sitka facilities must wear a face mask or face covering if social distancing of at least six feet or more between individuals cannot be maintained. This applies to entryways, hallways, stairwells, elevators, and personal offices where a six-foot distance cannot be exercised.


While City buildings are open, we strongly encourage you to contact us by phone or email as we can provide most services remotely.  Call 747-1818 and select the department you wish to speak with. Or, visit for a list of departments and contact information.


Although wearing a face covering is a tool to assist with minimizing the spread of COVID-19, it is no substitute for proper handwashing, hygiene, and practicing social distancing of at least six feet between you and others.  While our actions may not eliminate the virus, these actions will help reduce the spread of the virus to others.  Your actions matter.  Let's all work together to keep Sitkans healthy and our community strong.



Utility Rate Reminder


REMINDER:  Summer rates for electricity consumption go into effect July 1st. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lower winter rates were extended for all bills issued through June 30th.  For all billings beginning July 1st residential and general service-small rates are $.1918 per kWh through October 31, 2020, after which the winter rate of $.1204 will go into effect.



Airport Parking Lot Drop Off and Pick-Up


The City & Borough of Sitka are requesting the public to use the airport parking lot for passenger drop off and pick-up only. Your cooperation helps in the effort to meet the requirements of Health Mandate 10.1.



Unified Command Recommends Cloth Face Coverings - News Release
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), the City and Borough of Sitka (CBS), Sitka Fire Department, Sitka School District (SSD), and public health officials continue to meet regularly to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Sitka.

The group discussed the recommendation for all Alaskans to use cloth face coverings, specifically in public settings. Masking may reduce the release of respiratory droplets into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including people who have COVID-19 but have no symptoms. Sitkans should ensure the face covering covers both the nose and mouth, and should avoid touching the front of the face covering (because it may be contaminated). Do not remove the face covering until returning home, and when removing, best practice is to grasp the ear loops, ties, or bands and immediately discard or place in a designated container for laundering. Wash your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Volunteers have been busy sewing masks, and there are stocks available in Sitka. If you need a mask, contact the Sitka EOC at or at 747-1899.

The Command group urges residents to adhere to all local, state and federal mandates regarding travel, staying at home as much as possible and on the limited occasions when leaving home, to practice physical distancing of 6 feet from others. Continue to practice good hygiene – wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, remain at home when sick, and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces on a regular basis.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of the flu – fever, aching, cough, and shortness of breath. If you are concerned you might have contracted the coronavirus, don’t panic, as the flu or another respiratory virus is still the most likely cause. Contact your healthcare provider for advice. If you choose to visit an emergency department, call ahead to alert staff of your coronavirus concerns and request a mask be brought out to you prior to entering to reduce the risk of exposure. For health questions or COVID concerns, please call the COVID hotline at 966.8799 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Outside of normal clinic hours, patients can contact the SEARHC 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1.800.613.0560 to be triaged by a registered nurse.

Thank you for your cooperation as our community works together to stop any spread of the COVID-19 virus.


Tsunami/Earthquake Evacuation Plan During COVID-19 Health Mandates
In the event of a tsunami or earthquake while we are complying with COVID-19 local orders and state health mandates, here are guidelines to follow:

• Head to high ground or other places you normally would take shelter – e.g. Sitka High School, Keet Gooshi Heen

• Once at high ground, stay in your car if possible

• If you must enter a building try to stay at least 6 feet away from others, don’t touch each other, wear a mask at all times, and wash your hands often and thoroughly

• If weather allows, you may be able to stay outside, however, continue to follow social distancing protocols

In the event of a tsunami or earthquake it is important to remain calm, help each other out when possible, and check with local media for updates.

CBS Temporarily Suspends Policies Regarding Utility Bills


To assist our citizens in this difficult time, the City and Borough of Sitka is enacting the following temporary policies regarding utility bills.


•            The Municipality is suspending all disconnections for non-payment of utility charges (related to COVID-19 impacts) until further notice. This is in alignment with Alaska SB 241 (awaiting Governor’s signature).


•            The Municipality is waiving late fees for untimely or partial payment of utility charges (related to COVID-19 impacts) for two billing cycles beginning immediately.


All utility charges must eventually be paid, and these policies only apply to late fees and disconnections for non-payments that occurred ONLY after the emergency declaration and must be related to COVID-19 impacts. No past charges will be forgiven. We strongly encourage customers to pay what they are able to pay and to contact our Collections Manager at 747-1859 if they have any concerns.


Also, once the emergency ends, any account that becomes past due during the emergency period will be required to agree to a written repayment plan, to be completed in the Finance Department.


If you are a commercial business that has temporarily closed, the CBS may be able to reduce your solid waste disposal fees by arranging smaller trash receptacles.


If you have any questions, please call utility customer service at 747-1818.



Message to Incoming Travelers through the Harbor System


The City and Borough of Sitka Harbor Department would like to remind all incoming travelers to Sitka through the Harbor System to follow all State of Alaska COVID-19 Health Mandates. Please pay special attention to the mandatory quarantine and social distancing. Click here for access to all health mandates.


For further information, contact the Harbor Department at 747-3439.



SFD Search and Rescue Update


During this time of social distancing, it is natural to think of heading outdoors for some healthy isolation. However, we want everyone to understand the impact the current situation has on our ability to carry out search and rescue operations.


Our ability to mount an effective SAR response has already been impacted in a number of ways. We have members in higher-risk demographics who can only contribute from their homes. Some of our members volunteer in the EMS division or work in healthcare-related jobs, which may take priority over SAR operations at this time. Our field team members will need to minimize interactions at the fire hall, and minimize interactions with each other and the public throughout a response. Because of this, we will be slower to reach lost or injured individuals. Our direct contact with lost or injured people will also put us all at risk of transmitting the virus, regardless of whether anyone is showing symptoms.


Please keep this in mind when planning your outdoor activities until the critical period of this public health crisis has passed. Please consider lower-risk activities so your chances of injury are minimized, and please consider sticking to areas you know well so your chances of becoming lost are kept to a minimum as well. Similar messages are being shared by search and rescue organizations around the US.


If you are heading out, please leave a clear trip plan with someone in town. If you have any questions regarding this announcement, please contact the Sitka Fire Department at 747-3233.



COVID-19 Information Center


The City and Borough of Sitka is working closely with local, state, and federal partners to respond to the rapidly-evolving outbreak of COVID-19, a respiratory illness.


The City and Borough of Sitka has created a webpage with detailed information on  COVID-19 and the effects on our community.  To access, visit and click “City of Sitka COVID-19 Information Center” on the home page.


A Public Information Officer line has been created and is monitored weekdays from 8am to 5pm.  That number is 747-1899.  Emails may also be sent to