The Kenai City Council last week set its budget for the new fiscal year, which begins on July 1. The budget appropriates $16,166,027 from the General Fund as part of a $28,105,942 total budget. Appropriations from the Enterprise and Internal Service Funds amount to just over $3 million, while the city’s Special Revenue Funds contribute about $8.75 million.
The council also committed $750,000 of unassigned General Fund money for future renovation and improvements to city facilities and streets. The employee salary schedule was also amended.
Councilman Jim Glendening praised a recent long Saturday the council spent with staff going over fiscal wants and needs, but suggested even more, and earlier, involvement.
“I would like to see us as a council, perhaps engage the discussion a little bit earlier. I was looking at the fist pass of the meetings and approving the ordinance, and we let our time slip a l little bit," he said. "I would like a commitment from us to advance it at least two or three weeks from where we had it. So we could really discuss some of the questions we really did have a s a result of the Saturday meeting.”
Councilman Henry Knackstedt agreed, saying it was time well spent.
“The nine hours spent were very good. The problem is we sit here and it doesn’t look like we have a lot of amendments or comments necessarily. It’s not that we didn’t already spend an awful lot of time on it previously together," he said. "And I think we have probably a better understanding of which each department needs, what they want and whatnot.”
Of the city’s special revenue funds, which are those that should be self-sustaining, $3.1 million is being appropriated from the Airport Fund, $2.6 from the Water and Sewer Fund, and $1.23 million from the Airport Land Sale Permanent Fund.
Due to several departures and one planned reduction in the part-time staff at the city library, a new full-time position was created in this budget, which also dodged a potential three-hour closure on Saturdays or a complete Sunday closure.