Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Peter Micciche speaks during a meeting of the Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Peter Micciche speaks during a meeting of the Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Assembly unanimously approves borough budget

The budget describes around $178 million in revenue and $180 million in expenditures

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly unanimously approved the borough’s budget for the next fiscal year, which starts on July 1, during their Tuesday meeting.

A press release from the borough mayor’s office on Thursday describes “Key Budget Principles” that echo sentiments shared by Borough Mayor Peter Micciche multiple times during the last few months, including at his Borough Update to the joint Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce.

Those principles say the budget needs to be created from the perspective of the taxpayer, that it should be balanced, maintain quality services “with a disciplined focus on efficiency and cost-control,” and conservatively estimate revenue.

The budget is described, within its own text, as “a continued, everyday effort to manage costs at or below cost-of-living increases over time.”

The budget describes around $178 million in revenue and $180 million in expenditures. Around $56 million is directed to operational funding of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, less than the $58 million the district initially asked for, but increased from the contribution made by the borough last year.

Significant funding is also directed toward Solid Waste, which received around $12 million.

The release says that the budget’s objectives were to be accountable to taxpayers, provide a sustainable level of local educational funding, provide quality capital and operational maintenance, develop Borough Service Areas at “the lowest cost possible to their residents,” provide sufficient funding to borough departments to meet the needs of residents, re-balance expenditures and stabilize the borough’s financial condition.

Micciche says in the release that “the result is truly a testament to the value of a capable, informed and dedicated team focused on a sustainable and disciplined budget philosophy that, if maintained over time, will ensure that the Kenai remains an affordable place to live, work and play today and for our children and grandchildren.”

During Tuesday’s meeting, the budget saw little conversation. A pair of amendments to increase the amount spent on certain software licensing and a correction to the solid waste capital project fund were passed unanimously without discussion, as was the budget itself. Several members of the assembly celebrated the budget’s passage in their closing comments.

The full budget document and meetings of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly can be found at kpb.legistar.com.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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