Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander (left) and Kenai Finance Director Terry Eubank moderate a city council work session discussing budget goals at Kenai City Hall on Monday, Jan. 10, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander (left) and Kenai Finance Director Terry Eubank moderate a city council work session discussing budget goals at Kenai City Hall on Monday, Jan. 10, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai developing budget goals

Officials aim to provide more transparency in the budget process

The Kenai City Council convened Monday evening to set goals that will guide the city’s upcoming fiscal year 2023 budget process. Fiscal year 2023 begins on July 1, 2022 and ends on June 30, 2023.

Kenai Finance Director Terry Eubank wrote in a Jan. 4 memo to the council that goals adopted by the council will direct city administration throughout the process. This is the first year the council will vote on the budget goals, which Eubank said is considered a “best practice” and provides more transparency in the budget process. For example, Monday’s work session was meant to give members of the public an opportunity to weigh in on the budget.

“As evident by the minimal changes made by the Council to the administration’s proposed budgets in prior years, the administration has succeeded in anticipating the goals that have guided the budget process,” Eubank wrote.

Eubank said this year, a formal goal-setting process will be especially important because of “economy and inflationary pressures not seen in the United States for 40 years.” Those pressures, he said, include anticipated 6% inflation in 2021, which “amplify” the basic questions the city addresses each year through the creation of its budget.

Those questions, Eubank wrote, include things like whether or not the city tax rates and fees are enough to fund the city’s operations and capital needs, to what extent the city can address employee compensation and benefits, to what extent the city’s financial reserves will be able to maintain existing infrastructure and what the minimum level of financial reserves are needed to “ensure sustainable operations.”

Among the goals presented to the council Monday are to submit a budget that maintains the city’s current mill and sales tax rates, to propose salary schedule adjustments commensurate with inflation as measured by the Alaska Consumer Price Index and to improve the sustainability of employee medical, dental and life insurance while also working toward a 15% employee cost share.

Other goals include trying to reduce the cost of goods and services without negatively impacting operation and compiling a list of capital projects for adoption by the city council.

Changes proposed by the council Monday will be incorporated into a resolution that will go before the body during its Jan. 19 meeting. Monday’s work session can be viewed on the City of Kenai’s YouTube channel.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at

More in News

Alaska Rep. David Eastman, a Republican from Wasilla, sits at his desk on the Alaska House floor in Juneau, Alaska, on March 5, 2020. Alaska lawmakers are discussing whether to sanction Eastman who is also a member of the Oath Keepers far-right paramilitary organization according to the Anchorage Daily News. Eastman, who is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, confirmed with the Associated Press, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, that he joined the Oath Keepers a little over 12 years ago, “along with 38,000 others who have committed to honoring oaths we have taken.” (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
State lawmaker could be sanctioned over Oath Keeper ties

Eastman was identified as a “life member” of the Oath Keepers last year

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
As cases surge, public health officials contemplate how to live with virus

Contact tracing and data collection will have to be reworked if COVID is here to stay

Upper Cook Inlet Exclusive Economic Zone can be seen on this map provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (Image via
Soldotna approves filing of EEZ lawsuit brief

The lawsuit seeks to reopen commercial salmon fishing in the Upper Cook Inlet Exclusive Economic Zone

University of Alaska Interim President Pat Pitney, bottom left, spoke to UA students in a virtual forum on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, and was joined by several UA administrators including UA Southeast President Karen Carey, bottom left, and UA Anchorage Vice Chancellor Bruce Schultz, top left. At top right, an American Sign Language professional provides translation services. (Screenshot)
UA President: University has turned a corner on funding

System sees modest increase in budget for first time in years

Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer; Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna; Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak and Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, spoke to reporters Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, immediately following Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s State of the State address. Members of the Senate Republican leadership said they appreciated the governor’s optimism, and hoped it signaled a better relationship between the administration and the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers welcome tone change in governor’s address

With caveats on financials, legislators optimistic about working together

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID deaths, hospitalizations climb statewide

The total number of statewide COVID deaths is nearly equivalent to the population of Funny River.

A fisher holds a reel on the Kenai River near Soldotna on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Restrictions on sport fishing announced

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced summer sport fishing regulations Wednesday

Community agencies administer social services to those in need during the Project Homeless Connect event Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘It’s nice to be able to help folks’

Project Homeless Connect offers services, supplies to those experiencing housing instability

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce attends the March 2, 2021, borough assembly meeting at the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers at the Borough Administration Building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Former talk-show host to manage Pierce gubernatorial campaign

Jake Thompson is a former host of KSRM’s Tall, Dark and Handsome Show and Sound-off talk-show

Most Read