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Council Moves Forward With City Budget Proposal At $29 Million

May 10, 2017

The budget proposal would allow the Unalaska Department of Public Safety to add three full-time positions in fiscal year 2018.
Credit KUCB File Photo

The City of Unalaska is closing in on a $29 million budget for fiscal year 2018.

On Tuesday night, the City Council unanimously voted to send the financial plan to its second and final reading later this month.

The FY18 budget proposal would allow the city to spend about $500,000 more than it did this year.

City Manager Dave Martinson says the increase is largely a result of adding three positions to the Department of Public Safety, which officials say has been short-staffed for years.

“It does afford the opportunity to add two police officers and switch out the volunteer senior fire captain with a permanent, full-time senior fire captain," said Martinson.

The proposal also budgets for a 10 percent jump in the cost of health insurance for city employees, as well as a new grader for the road maintenance crew at the Department of Public Works.

As for revenue, the city expects to pocket nearly $33 million in FY18. That’s a slight increase over this year.

Martinson credits the growth to sales taxes and interest on city investments, and he said the extra money will give the city a little breathing room.

“The operating budget will provide -- based on our rough estimates of revenue versus cost -- a little more than $4 million in surplus funding," he said. "We have that wiggle room in case something happens during the year.”

City councilors will take public testimony on the budget proposal -- and vote on its adoption -- at their next meeting May 23.

Meanwhile, city officials say they’re received four applications for the fire chief position, which has been vacant about a year. After the job posting closes in early June, the city will begin interviewing candidates.