by Sue Deyoe ~ April 24th, 2009
The Mat Su Borough Assembly heard the first round of Borough budget proposals Tuesday night.
Borough Manager John Duffy said he wanted to keep mill rates steady from last year.
The proposed areawide mill rate of 10.326 is the same as last year. However non-areawide mill rates will increase from .383 to point .396.
In fiscal year 2011, the revenue cap will likely bring deficits in certain road service areas, fire service area and the non-areawide fund, said Duffy.
Duffy outlined slower economic growth in the Borough compared to previous years. Residential construction is down. The average home value Borough wide has dropped by about 5% according to Duffy. However, he says the population growth rate continues to rise at 2.5 to 3%, outpacing past projections. Today’s Borough population is just over 87,000. The projected population for the Borough by 2018 is over 102,000.
This proposed budget provides funding for government operations, libraries, fire and ambulance services, road maintenance, education, flood control, sewer operations and other services. It allows for a one point 4 million dollar increase for education. No new positions in the Borough will be funded.
The first public hearing on the budget is Thursday, April 30th in Wasilla. A second hearing is scheduled for May 7th. The budget is scheduled for final approval on May 13th by the Assembly.