The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District building is closed on March 26, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District building is closed on March 26, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Additional emergency funds on assembly agenda

An emergency ordinance appropriating $77,000 to the OEM t is being introduced at Tuesday’s meeting.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is set to discuss additional measures and funds addressing the COVID-19 pandemic at their meeting Tuesday.

An emergency ordinance appropriating $77,000 to the borough’s Office of Emergency Management is being introduced at Tuesday’s meeting. The money is intended to cover the costs associated with mitigation for the COVID-19 disaster declaration, the ordinance said.

Mayor Charlie Pierce issued a local disaster declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic March 16. In March, the assembly appropriated $125,000 for the Office of Emergency Management to cover initial response incident management wages, contracting costs, personal protective equipment and other costs directly related to the disaster response, the ordinance said.

The Office of Emergency Management is anticipating that an additional $77,000 is needed “immediately” to “provide mitigation measures to protect borough employees and the public from the pandemic” as the governor reopens segments of the economy. The funds will cover the cost of constructing “virus protective barriers” and purchase more personal protective equipment, the ordinance said.

Due to social distancing mandates, the Kenai Peninsula Borough has been using Zoom Video Conferencing to host public meetings. The borough has been taking advantage of a free trial on Zoom, which is set to expire May 17. The current account also “limits the transfer of administrative accounts,” Nelson said in an April 17 memo to Pierce.

The borough is seeking an “emergency procurement” of $3,900 to purchase 60 administrative accounts on Zoom to continue allowing “flexibility” in “current service,” the memo said. The cost for 60 admin accounts is $1,300 a month, and the borough is requesting three months of Zoom services. The Zoom service is intended to fill the communication needs in the short term. The memo said staff are already assessing the borough’s video conference needs and plan to seek a long-term contract proposal from Zoom.

The borough’s incident management team will also seek during the meeting approval of a sole-source contract that it has entered into and hopes to extend. The team has been contracting services to aid in the planning and response to COVID-19.

The contracts were intended for limited use, but have “become necessary” to extend past their two-week estimates, an April 10 memo from Nelson to Pierce said. The memo says the extensions will go week to week.

The contractors, John Mohorcich Consulting and Life in Limbo/Emery Johnson, are filling positions the borough does not have “in-house expertise in, or where that in-house expertise is better suited in other areas,” the April 10 memo said.

The John Mohorcich Consulting contract is set to not exceed $25,600 and the Life in Limbo contract is set to be no more than $21,600.

Tuesday’s assembly meeting will be conducted remotely through Zoom. The meeting can be accessed by the public on Zoom by using meeting ID: 128 871 931. To join the meeting from a computer, visit https://zoom.us/j/128871931. To attend the Zoom meeting by telephone call toll free 1-888-788-0099 or 1-877-853-5247 and enter the Meeting ID: 128 871 931. Detailed instructions will be posted on the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s main page at kpb.us.

The clerk’s office encourages residents to submit comments in writing through either the eComment portal located at kpb.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx or by emailing them to assemblyclerk@kpb.us. If you have questions or technical difficulties, please call 907-714-2160.

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