Borough seeks board members for new fire, EMS service area

Western Emergency Service Area board of directors will be appointed by borough mayor

The Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)

The Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)

Residents of Anchor Point and Ninilchik have the chance to represent their communities on the board that will govern the new fire and emergency medical service area covering both areas.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough is seeking applicants to sit on the board of directors for the Western Emergency Service Area, according to a Tuesday press release from the borough.

Voters in both Anchor Point and Ninilchik passed a ballot measure during the Oct. 6 regular municipal election that created the Western Emergency Service Area. The service area covers both communities — stretching from the southern border of Central Emergency Services to the northern border of Kachemak Emergency Services — and will provide firefighting and emergency medical response to residents through a mill rate levied as part of property taxes.

According to the borough press release, the new service area “encompasses the unincorporated communities of Anchor Point, Fox River (north/northwest portion above Caribou Lake) Happy Valley, Clam Gulch, Cohoe (south/southwest portion), Ninilchik, and Nikolaevsk.”

Anchor Point residents had already been paying a mill rate for their independent service area, called Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Services. Both that service area and the nonprofit, volunteer-staffed service area that had been serving the Ninilchik community, Ninilchik Emergency Services, will be dissolved, and the Western Emergency Service Area will be their replacement.

Property owners in the new combined service area will pay a mill rate of 2.95 for a total of 10 full-time members to staff the service area, which will be supplemented by volunteer firefighters and medics. Equipment and resources from both individual service areas will be combined. The service area also stretches into Cook Inlet and includes some oil and gas properties, which will also be subject to the mill rate.

Service areas under the borough that operate off of property tax revenue are governed by a board of directors. The board for the Western Emergency Service Area will consist of five members. There are two seats designated for Anchor Point residents, two seats designated for Ninilchik residents, and a fifth seat that is considered “at large” and can be filled by any resident living in the service area.

The seats are organized as follows:

Seat A (Anchor Point Resident): Term expires October 2023

Seat B (Anchor Point Resident): Term expires October 2022

Seat C (Ninilchik Resident): Term expires October 2023

Seat D (Ninilchik Resident): Term expires October 2022

Seat E (At-large resident of the service area): Term expires October 2021

Board members will be appointed by Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce, and then confirmed by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, according to the press release.

“These individuals are advisory to the mayor and the assembly with respect to the ordinance of powers that define the service area and the duties prescribed by law to the mayor and to the assembly,” the press release states.

Those interested can read more about what duties a board member has on the borough’s website at www.kpb.us/service-areas.

Interested parties can apply to be on the Western Emergency Service Area board online on the borough’s website, at www.kpb.us/service-areas/service-area-board-appointment-application. All applications are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9.

Those with questions are encouraged to contact the Borough Clerk’s office at 907-714-2160.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

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