The remodeling of Petersburg’s police station and jail didn’t require a loan from the electrical department after all.
The borough completed the year-long and two-phase renovation of the downtown building in 2017. The borough assembly Monday voted to pay for the remaining $464,711 needed for the project from general fund reserves.
Originally, the funding plan for the construction called for a loan from the electrical department of up to 1.3 million dollars. The overall price tag wound up lower than expected at $9,349,488. Because of that, the assembly considered two options, using the general fund reserve money, or a portion of a rebate check from the Southeast Alaska Power Agency (SEAPA).
Mayor Mark Jensen Monday reminded the assembly they waited on the decision earlier this year.
“The reason we decided not to just spend some of the SEAPA money a few months back was to wait until we got the analysis done on the Crystal Lake hydro project and that is still in it’s works,” Jensen said.
That rebate check on Petersburg’s purchases of electricity from SEAPA was $685,158 last year. Borough officials expect that money could be used for repairs or upgrades needed at the borough’s Crystal Lake hydro power plant or other electrical department projects.
The municipal remodel was paid for with a mix of state and local funding. State grant money totaled $5.2 million. The borough ended up paying over 3.2 million dollars from its property development fund and general fund. Another half million dollars came from the sale of borough property and the remaining money came from other grants, donations and money raised by a local sur-charge on phones.
In other decisions, the assembly Monday also set the property tax rate for the upcoming year. The tax rate will drop slightly from the current year. Inside service area one, or the old city limits, the tax rate is 11.38 mills. Property owners in the rest of the borough will pay 4.35 mills. A mill is one tenth of a percent, charged on the assessed value of land, buildings and other improvements.
While property taxes are going down, the cost of using Petersburg’s harbors looks to be going up. The assembly unanimously approved the second of three readings of an ordinance increasing moorage rates by nine percent and most other fees by 12 percent. That change will take effect in July pending one more vote by the assembly.