The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly approved the 2017 budget last night with the same tax rate as last year, 9.984. Among the approved funding—$100,000 to Wasilla for a drug enforcement officer, and increased mill rates for the fastest growing fire departments in the Borough: Central Mat-Su and West Lakes fire service areas.
Earlier in deliberations, the Assembly supported a six percent increase to the education budget at $3,160,828 million for a total in local funding of $55.8 million. Also added was a park for Point MacKenzie.
The areawide mill rate is 9.984. The non-areawide mill rate is 0.525.
Funding requests that failed to get the vote included: a new animal care officer, a raise for the Assembly and Mayor.
The mill rate for Central Mat-Su Fire will increase from 1.99 to 2.15 mills. The mill rate for West Lakes will increase from 1.88 to 2.20 mills. Listen to Assembly Member Steve Colligan request the increase.
Wasilla Mayor Bert Cottle requested funding for a drug enforcement officer. The Borough's 100,000 grant would be matched by another group's $100,000 grant, he agreed. Listen to the Alaska State Trooper give an overview of what he called the heroin epidemic in the Mat-Su.
Matanuska-Susitna Borough Mayor Vern Halter has until 6 pm at the next regular meeting to issue vetoes. However, Mayor Halter said to Public Affairs after the meeting that he is not issuing any vetoes.
Listen to the audio of closing remarks on the budget for all Assembly members here.