MAT-SU—Last night the Assembly for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough continued deliberating amendments, up to 32 now, on next year’s Borough budget. Work continues on Wed. May 22. To date, the proposed Areawide mill rate is at 9.878 and the proposed Non-areawide mill rate is at 0.52. The mill rate is the amount of tax, payable per dollar of the assessed value of a property. But both rates are likely to change as Assembly Members strike funds from budgets and add funds for projects in an effort to provide services but also to spare property owners from increasing taxes.
Among the previous standout additions: a 3 percent increase is planned for the School District; a new fire mechanic for the West Lakes Fire Service Area, a full-time fire chief for the Caswell & Willow Fire Service areas; and a $200,000 grant to Wasilla. (See previous press release.)
Assembly Member Noel Woods moved an amendment that will give grants to cities: $65,000 to Palmer, $65,000 to Wasilla, and $30,000 to Houston.
Assembly Member Steve Colligan is working on creating a Borough-wide payroll/benefits/HR system by moving monies from other projects for the estimated $432,000 project. Colligan said the project will manage staff, projects, and work orders, creating efficiencies and flexibility.
Assembly Member Warren Keogh continued his effort to reduce Assembly spending. His amendment to reduce the Assembly Reserve by $10,000, passed.
Keogh added a ¾ time permanent Secretary for IT by allocating already-designated temporary wages to the position.
The former Sutton Library will become an ambulance station. Keogh asked that $150,000 for capital projects go toward retrofitting the old library, which was formerly a fire station.
Assembly Member Darcie Salmon proposed adding a new permanent Emergency Management Programs Coordinator position. That idea and a few others from other Members were moved to Wednesday’s Assembly meeting. Salmon asked that $70,000 from a capital projects fund go toward a demographic study of the impacts of a Knik Arm Crossing. His peers supported the amendment.
The Assembly has its regular meeting on May 21, Tuesday night at 6 pm. Deliberations on the budget resume on Wed., May 22, at 501 N. Gulkana Street in Palmer at the School District Administration chambers. Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday of next week as well.
For more information call Public Affairs Director Patty Sullivan at 745-9577 or email at psullivan@matsugovus.