Mayor Charlie Pierce speaks at a Kenai Peninsula Borough meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Mayor Charlie Pierce speaks at a Kenai Peninsula Borough meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Borough budget to take hit

Borough could experience a 30-60% “negative impact” in sales tax revenue due to the global pandemic.

Springtime is a time for local governments to work on the next year’s budget, and despite a global pandemic, the Kenai Peninsula Borough staff is working on the fiscal year 2021 budget.

Mayor Charlie Pierce — who has quarantined himself at home since arriving in Alaska after an out-of-state trip a week ago — told the Clarion Thursday that the borough’s budget will take an “unanticipated hit” because of the new coronavirus.

Pierce said his administration is evaluating what impacts COVID-19 will have. Pierce said the borough could experience a 30-60% “negative impact” in sales tax revenue because of the global pandemic. He said the borough is in the process of developing better projections as information becomes available.

Over the last several years, Pierce said there’s been a “considerable amount of effort” to contain costs in the borough to bring the budget down. He said the borough is currently sitting on approximately $26.9 million in fund balance. That number could drop to $16 million by the end of next fiscal year, he said.

Borough staff are working from home and those in the office are practicing guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including keeping desks physically 6 feet apart and sanitizing surfaces, Pierce said.

Pierce said he hopes the state can come through with a stimulus package and encouraged people to be patient and follow rules set in place by the CDC and state government.

“It’s not worth picking up exposure to (COVID-19),” Pierce said. “Stay hunkered down until health care providers give indication it’s safe. This could be an extended and lengthy shutdown.”

Residents have to rely on each other, friends and neighbors, Pierce said.

“These are trying times,” Pierce said. “It’s very challenging for all of us.”

More in News

The badge for the Kenai Police Department (Clarion file)
Walmart briefly evacuated after bomb threat

The investigation is ongoing.

Peninsula Clarion file
Merry voices to fill Kenai chamber

Historical society carolling event returns after hiatus

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State officials urge vaccination as omicron spreads in US

Omicron was first identified as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization on Nov. 26.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
1 hunter dead, another missing after boat hits rough seas off Whittier

The pair were reportedly hunting on Wednesday on Esther Island in Prince William Sound.

Kenai City Council members James Baisden (left) and Deborah Sounart (right) listen as member Teea Winger (center) speaks in support of legislation opposing government COVID-19 mandates, during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, in Kenai.
Kenai council declares opposition to mask mandates

The statement does not change city code or supersede federal law.

Signage indicates that face masks are required for entry to the Soldotna Public Library on March 25, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Soldotna City Council voted Wednesday to make mask-wearing optional in city facilities. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Masks recommended, not required in Soldotna city buildings

Council amends measure to make mask-wearing optional

Nick Begich III, seen here in this undated photo, is challenging Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives saying Alaska needs new energy in Washington D.C. (Courtesy photo / Alaskans for Nick Begich)
Nick Begich III touts fiscal conservatism in US House race

GOP candidate challenges Young’s record

Sockeye salmon. (Photo via Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
Fish and Game seeks comment on 2022 sport fish stocking plan

The Sport Fish Division plans to release approximately 7 million fish into the Alaska water systems over the next five years.

A map shows which parts of the Chugach National Forest are open to motorized winter recreation use for the 2021-2022 season. (Map courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)
Parts of Chugach National Forest open to snowmachine use

The 2021-2022 winter motorized season will run through April 30.

Most Read