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Unalaska's 2019 Budget Proposal Totals Almost $30 Million

Berett Wilber

The City of Unalaska has proposed a $29.6 million budget for fiscal year 2019.

That’s almost $600,000 more than the City Council approved in this year’s spending plan. But for the most part, finance officials say it maintains the status quo.

The majority of proposed increases would cover scheduled expenses, including employee raises, updated software, and new equipment at the community center.

Others would pay for the growing funding requests from local nonprofits and the Unalaska City School District. Nonprofits are asking for 7 percent more than they did this year, while the schools are calling for an extra 4 percent.

As for revenue, the city expects to earn $31.4 million in 2019, which would provide a surplus of $1.8 million.

That projected cushion is significantly less than in recent years. According to Mayor Frank Kelty, the conservative estimate is a result of cut fishing quotas and the corresponding drop in seafood taxes.

"We have big trouble with our crab stocks, and there’s some question of which fisheries might not even open," said Kelty. "Red crab might not open and bairdi tanner might not open, depending on the surveys this summer."

Finance officials will continue to refine the budget over the next few months. The City Council’s next meeting is April 10.

Laura Kraegel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2020. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2019. We are proud to have her back in the spring of 2023 filling in as an interim reporter for KUCB.
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