Petersburg Pilot -

 
 

By Ron Loesch 

The new borough

 


With the formation of the Petersburg Borough as a home rule entity, the City of Petersburg will dissolve once the election results are certified. The City of Kupreanof will continue to exist within the borough and will continue to enact and enforce its own regulations as they do now.

All existing powers of the City of Petersburg will become areawide borough powers. However, little will change in the outlying areas of the borough. Borough ordinances and resolutions of the former city will continue in force within the former city limits only. The new borough assembly will address what additional laws, if any, should be extended to other areas of the borough.

Likewise, general obligation bonded indebtedness of the former city becomes the obligation of residents within service area 1 only (the original City of Petersburg boundary). Residents outside that boundary will not be obligated to pay those debts that include school improvements, new swimming pool and new library for example.

Property owners outside of service area 1 will be obligated to pay a 4-mil tax on their property. Likewise businesses boroughwide will be required to collect and pay the city’s 10% bed tax and its 6% sales tax.

The Petersburg Borough will be entitled to select 1700 acres of state land for local development, including potential parces of Mitkof and Kupreanof Island, as well as Whitney Island near Cape Fanshaw and Read Island near Farragut Bay.

Petersburg Borough will encompass approximately 3,365 square miles of land and 982 wquare miles of water for a total of 4,347 square miles. The territory includes the current City of Petersburg; City of Kupreanof; all of Mitkof Island; portions of Kupreanof Island including the Wrangell Narrows, Beecher Pass, Keene Channel, Duncan Canal areas and the Lindenberg Peninsula; and Woewodski Island.

East of Frederick Sound and Stephens Passage all lands includes Endicott Arm, Holkham Bay, Windah Bay, Hobar Bay, Port Houghton, Farragut Bay, Thomas Bay, Muddy Riover, Point Agassiz and all surrounding lands and nearby islands and the LeConte Glacier and LeConte Bay, up to the borough boundary of Wrangell to the south.

The borough encompasses uplands, tidelands and submerged lands through the centerline of Stephens Passage, Frederick Sound and Sumner Strait.

According to the city’s petition for incorporation, elected officials take office on the first Monday following certification of election, scheduled for Jan. 3, 2013.

 

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