Council okays purchase of refuse truck

Numerous commission, committee appointments approved

After more than three months of discussion, the Cordova City Council has voted unanimously to purchase a refuse truck with funds from the city’s general reserve fund, to be paid back with interest from the refuse enterprise fund.

The ordinance was amended on its first vote on Oct. 17 to read that the refuse department will borrow the full amount of $269,492 from the city’s permanent fund, to be paid back over seven years, with four percent interest on payments. The yearly payment would be $44,899.96.

Payments are to begin in 2020, allowing the refuse enterprise fund to complete a portion of a pre-existing bond payment of $38,960 next year.

“The enterprise funds have never had a problem with following through with their agreement to pay back anything to the permanent fund,” said councilmember David Allison during the Nov. 21 meeting. “The harbor department has done it before and they’re making those payments and they’ve raised their revenue in order to do that.”

The council also passed ordinance 1172, declaring that the tax-foreclosed property Cordova Hotel (CoHo) is not required for public purpose, authorizing and directing its sale.

The property, located at 604 First St., was once owned by Dorene Wickham, but was received by the city via a foreclosure process and deemed to have no public purpose.

For this reason, council carried the motion and beginning Dec. 22, after the mandatory 30-day wait period, the planning department can begin the process of selling the property.

Council also concurred with Mayor Clay Koplin’s numerous commissions and committee appointments.

Olivia Carroll was appointed to the Comprehensive Plan Committee, leaving one more available seat.

Wendy Ranney was appointed to the Library Board and Parks & Recreation Commission for terms through November 2021. Kirsti Jurica was also appointed to a three-year term with Parks & Rec.

Chris Bolin and John Baenen were appointed to the Planning Commission for terms through November 2021, while Jacob Betts was appointed to the Harbor Commission for a three-year term.

The council again postponed discussion addressing Cordova’s bear and trash problem to the pending agenda for the first city council meeting in January. Needing to know the city’s budget for fiscal year 2019 and inviting interested entities, including the Native Village of Eyak, U.S. Forest Service, Chief of Police, Refuse Department and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game’s Charlotte Westing, were the council’s reasons for postponement.

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Emily Mesner is a staff reporter and photographer for The Cordova Times. Reach her at Emily graduated from Central Michigan University, earning a degree in photojournalism with a cultural competency certificate. She first visited Alaska in 2016, working as a media intern for the National Park Service in Kotzebue and Denali National Park and Preserve, and has been coming back ever since. To see more photos, follow @thecordovatimes and @emilymesnerphoto on Instagram.