TO: Mayor Hornaday and Homer City Council
FROM: Walt Wrede
DATE: August 7, 2012
SUBJECT: Ordinance 12-37 (S)
Ordinance 12-37 was introduced at the regular Council meeting on July 23, 2012. In response to questions during discussion, the administration clarified that it was the intent of both the Port and Harbor Commission and the staff to use the proposed appropriation of $15,000 to look at other alternatives in addition to the existing port and harbor office building. The Council agreed with that approach and requested that the administration bring back a substitute ordinance that makes it clear the money will be used for an engineering review of four alternatives which include upgrading the existing building, acquisition and remodeling of another existing building, new construction at the current site, and new construction at a different site. Ordinance 12-37 (S) accomplishes that objective.
During discussion, the Council also inquired whether there was any money left from the appropriation it made earlier for cost estimating on the proposed harbor bond projects. The Council appropriated $20,000 for this work from the Port and Harbor Reserve account and the funds were included in the approved FY 2012 Operating Budget. The Finance Department reports that the City paid an engineering firm (PN&D) $7,500 to complete that work. That means $12,500 remains in the account which will not be spent since the original objective has been accomplished.
So, Council has the option of authorizing the use of the remaining $12,500 for this work. I believe the original intent of that appropriation is consistent with this ordinance since it was for cost estimation on proposed harbor projects, which is largely what we are doing with Ordinance 12-37 (S). If Council agrees, then all it would have to do is make a motion to amend the amount in Ordinance 12-37 (S) from $15,000 to $2,500 and direct that the money be placed in the same account that holds the remaining $12,500 from the prior project.
One thing Council might want to consider is whether another public hearing is necessary. Ordinance 12-37 (S) changes and expands the scope of work contained in the original ordinance. It is a significantly different ordinance in that respect. That information might generate additional public interest and comment.
RECOMMENDATION: Amend Ordinance 12-37 (S) to appropriate $2,500 instead of $15,000, direct that the funds go into the account holding the remaining $12,500 from the prior project, and postpone second reading until another public hearing can be held because the ordinance has significantly changed.