City and Borough of Sitka

Press Releases and Public Service Announcements



A very strong weather front will spread across the gulf and into Southeast Alaska Saturday, November 28, 2020 for the outer coastal communities and exposed capes from Icy Bay south to Dixon entrance. As the front continues east, winds through the southern portion of Clarence Strait will likely lead to strong gusty winds as well. Sustained winds 20 to 35 mph should be expected, while gusts of 40 to 55 mph may occur.


Secure loose objects to prevent them from being blown away. Winds may topple trees, and power may be lost during events like this.


Boat owners are encouraged to check on the moorings, and aircraft owners check on the security of aircraft parked outdoors.



Planning Commission Meeting


The Planning Commission will hold a regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. The meeting is open to the public. NOTE: More information on these agenda items can be found at or by contacting the Planning Office at 100 Lincoln Street. Individuals having concerns or comments on any item are encouraged to provide written comments to the Planning Office or make comments at the Planning Commission meeting. Written comments may be dropped off at the Planning Office in City Hall, emailed to Teleconference options can be found at Those with questions may call (907) 747-1814.



Library Commission Meeting


The City and Borough of Sitka Library Commission will meet via Zoom video conference at 6:00pm on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.  The agenda includes reports and a discussion of community feedback. The meeting is open to the public. Citizens interested in attending may contact the library director, Jessica Ieremia, by email or by phone 907-747-4021 before 12:00pm the day of the meeting to obtain an invitation. 



Important Information About Your Drinking Water

City of Sitka Does Not Meet Requirements


Click here to review the drinking water notice from City and Borough of Sitka Public Works Department.



Utility and Customer Service Office Closure


The City and Borough of Sitka’s payment and utility office at City Hall, 100 Lincoln Street will be closed for construction from November 26, 2020 through December 18, 2020.  You may call 747-1818 to make a payment or set up or make changes to utility services.  You may also pay by check during this time, either mailing your payment or dropping it in the drop box outside of City Hall.  For those business who operate on a cash only basis, please call to set up an appointment. 


The sales tax office on the second floor will remain open during this time.  Upon reopening the first-floor business office, all sales tax customers will be served on the first floor of City Hall.


We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  If you have any questions, please contact the Utility Office at 747-1818.



Sales Tax Free Days


At its regular meeting on September 8, the City and Borough of Sitka Assembly voted to authorize November 27 and 28 as sales tax free days. Exclusions include any sale of fuel, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, marijuana, and any sale which part of a continuing obligation of the buyer is to pay the seller over time. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Sales Tax Office at 747-1840.


Our local shops value your business—please shop safely and follow recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19!



Update – Water Pressure Restored

11/28/2020 at 1:00 p.m.

The turbidity levels in Blue Lake have dropped to acceptable levels allowing water operators to enable Blue Lake water to enter the system, restoring water pressure and refilling storage tanks. Water pressure has returned to normal and the public is not required to take any special precautions at this time. Water operators will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates if the situation progresses.



Police and Fire Commission Meeting Cancelled


The Police & Fire Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting for the month of November has been cancelled. The next meeting will be Wednesday, December 23rd at 6 PM.



Reminder: Sales Tax Rate Change


As of October 1st, tax is to be collected at a rate of 5% for the months, October, November, and December January, February and March. Long Term Commercial Rental tax remains at 5% year-round. Bed Tax for rentals less than 30 days remains at 6% year-round. If you have any questions about the collection of sales tax within the City and Borough of Sitka, contact the Tax office at 747-1840.



Property Tax Billing Information


Due to the COVID-19 related extension of the appeal period for property tax valuations, the 2020 property tax bills were not be issued in early July as they usually are.  The planned date for issuing 2020 property tax bills is now August 31, 2020.  Per the Sitka General Code, taxpayers will have 60 days from the day that bills are issued to remit payment.  Please contact the Tax Office at 747-1853 with any questions.



Assembly Resolution 2020-26 Encouraging Face Coverings In Public Places


At their meeting of July 28, the City and Borough of Sitka Assembly approved Resolution 2020-26 encouraging the people in the City and Borough of Sitka to wear masks or cloth face coverings in public places. This resolution is effective immediately and shall remain in effect through September 8, 2020, or until earlier terminated by the Assembly. Click here for a copy of the Resolution.



Face Masks or Face Coverings in CBS Facilities


Due to the increase in COVID-19 case counts internationally and in Alaska, effective immediately, all employees, contractors, and visitors to City and Borough of Sitka facilities must wear a face mask or face covering if social distancing of at least six feet or more between individuals cannot be maintained. This applies to entryways, hallways, stairwells, elevators, and personal offices where a six-foot distance cannot be exercised.


While City buildings are open, we strongly encourage you to contact us by phone or email as we can provide most services remotely.  Call 747-1818 and select the department you wish to speak with. Or, visit for a list of departments and contact information.


Although wearing a face covering is a tool to assist with minimizing the spread of COVID-19, it is no substitute for proper handwashing, hygiene, and practicing social distancing of at least six feet between you and others.  While our actions may not eliminate the virus, these actions will help reduce the spread of the virus to others.  Your actions matter.  Let's all work together to keep Sitkans healthy and our community strong.



Utility Rate Reminder


REMINDER:  Summer rates for electricity consumption go into effect July 1st. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lower winter rates were extended for all bills issued through June 30th.  For all billings beginning July 1st residential and general service-small rates are $.1918 per kWh through October 31, 2020, after which the winter rate of $.1204 will go into effect.



Airport Parking Lot Drop Off and Pick-Up


The City & Borough of Sitka are requesting the public to use the airport parking lot for passenger drop off and pick-up only. Your cooperation helps in the effort to meet the requirements of Health Mandate 10.1.



Unified Command Recommends Cloth Face Coverings - News Release
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), the City and Borough of Sitka (CBS), Sitka Fire Department, Sitka School District (SSD), and public health officials continue to meet regularly to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Sitka.

The group discussed the recommendation for all Alaskans to use cloth face coverings, specifically in public settings. Masking may reduce the release of respiratory droplets into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including people who have COVID-19 but have no symptoms. Sitkans should ensure the face covering covers both the nose and mouth, and should avoid touching the front of the face covering (because it may be contaminated). Do not remove the face covering until returning home, and when removing, best practice is to grasp the ear loops, ties, or bands and immediately discard or place in a designated container for laundering. Wash your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Volunteers have been busy sewing masks, and there are stocks available in Sitka. If you need a mask, contact the Sitka EOC at or at 747-1899.

The Command group urges residents to adhere to all local, state and federal mandates regarding travel, staying at home as much as possible and on the limited occasions when leaving home, to practice physical distancing of 6 feet from others. Continue to practice good hygiene – wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, remain at home when sick, and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces on a regular basis.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of the flu – fever, aching, cough, and shortness of breath. If you are concerned you might have contracted the coronavirus, don’t panic, as the flu or another respiratory virus is still the most likely cause. Contact your healthcare provider for advice. If you choose to visit an emergency department, call ahead to alert staff of your coronavirus concerns and request a mask be brought out to you prior to entering to reduce the risk of exposure. For health questions or COVID concerns, please call the COVID hotline at 966.8799 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Outside of normal clinic hours, patients can contact the SEARHC 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1.800.613.0560 to be triaged by a registered nurse.

Thank you for your cooperation as our community works together to stop any spread of the COVID-19 virus.


Tsunami/Earthquake Evacuation Plan During COVID-19 Health Mandates
In the event of a tsunami or earthquake while we are complying with COVID-19 local orders and state health mandates, here are guidelines to follow:

• Head to high ground or other places you normally would take shelter – e.g. Sitka High School, Keet Gooshi Heen

• Once at high ground, stay in your car if possible

• If you must enter a building try to stay at least 6 feet away from others, don’t touch each other, wear a mask at all times, and wash your hands often and thoroughly

• If weather allows, you may be able to stay outside, however, continue to follow social distancing protocols

In the event of a tsunami or earthquake it is important to remain calm, help each other out when possible, and check with local media for updates.

CBS Temporarily Supspends Policies Regarding Utility Bills


To assist our citizens in this difficult time, the City and Borough of Sitka is enacting the following temporary policies regarding utility bills.


•            The Municipality is suspending all disconnections for non-payment of utility charges (related to COVID-19 impacts) until further notice. This is in alignment with Alaska SB 241 (awaiting Governor’s signature).


•            The Municipality is waiving late fees for untimely or partial payment of utility charges (related to COVID-19 impacts) for two billing cycles beginning immediately.


All utility charges must eventually be paid, and these policies only apply to late fees and disconnections for non-payments that occurred ONLY after the emergency declaration and must be related to COVID-19 impacts. No past charges will be forgiven. We strongly encourage customers to pay what they are able to pay and to contact our Collections Manager at 747-1859 if they have any concerns.


Also, once the emergency ends, any account that becomes past due during the emergency period will be required to agree to a written repayment plan, to be completed in the Finance Department.


If you are a commercial business that has temporarily closed, the CBS may be able to reduce your solid waste disposal fees by arranging smaller trash receptacles.


If you have any questions, please call utility customer service at 747-1818.



Message to Incoming Travelers through the Harbor System


The City and Borough of Sitka Harbor Department would like to remind all incoming travelers to Sitka through the Harbor System to follow all State of Alaska COVID-19 Health Mandates. Please pay special attention to the mandatory quarantine and social distancing. Click here for access to all health mandates.


For further information, contact the Harbor Department at 747-3439.



EPA Encourages Americans to Only Flush Toilet Paper


Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging all Americans to only flush toilet paper, not disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items that should be disposed of in the trash. Flushing only toilet paper helps ensure that the toilets, plumbing, sewer systems and septic systems will continue working properly to safely manage our nation’s wastewater. While EPA encourages disinfecting your environment to prevent the spread of COVID-19, never flush disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items. These easy steps will keep surfaces disinfected and wastewater management systems working for all Americans.


Preventable toilet and sewer backups can pose a threat to human health and present an extra challenge to our water utilities and their workforce. Flushing anything other than toilet paper, including disinfecting wipes, can damage internal plumbing, local sewer systems and septic systems. Fixing these backups is costly and takes time and resources away from ensuring that wastewater management systems are otherwise working properly. EPA thanks wastewater utilities and their workforce for their courageous efforts at a time when resources may be stretched thin. Having fully operational wastewater services is critical to containing COVID-19 and protecting Americans from other public health risks. Our nation’s wastewater employees are everyday heroes who are on the front line of protecting human health and the environment every single day.


For the latest information from EPA about COVID-19 and water, see:



SFD Search and Rescue Update


During this time of social distancing, it is natural to think of heading outdoors for some healthy isolation. However, we want everyone to understand the impact the current situation has on our ability to carry out search and rescue operations.


Our ability to mount an effective SAR response has already been impacted in a number of ways. We have members in higher-risk demographics who can only contribute from their homes. Some of our members volunteer in the EMS division or work in healthcare-related jobs, which may take priority over SAR operations at this time. Our field team members will need to minimize interactions at the fire hall, and minimize interactions with each other and the public throughout a response. Because of this, we will be slower to reach lost or injured individuals. Our direct contact with lost or injured people will also put us all at risk of transmitting the virus, regardless of whether anyone is showing symptoms.


Please keep this in mind when planning your outdoor activities until the critical period of this public health crisis has passed. Please consider lower-risk activities so your chances of injury are minimized, and please consider sticking to areas you know well so your chances of becoming lost are kept to a minimum as well. Similar messages are being shared by search and rescue organizations around the US.


If you are heading out, please leave a clear trip plan with someone in town. If you have any questions regarding this announcement, please contact the Sitka Fire Department at 747-3233.



COVID-19 Information Center


The City and Borough of Sitka is working closely with local, state, and federal partners to respond to the rapidly-evolving outbreak of COVID-19, a respiratory illness.


The City and Borough of Sitka has created a webpage with detailed information on  COVID-19 and the effects on our community.  To access, visit and click “City of Sitka COVID-19 Information Center” on the home page.


A Public Information Officer line has been created and is monitored weekdays from 8am to 5pm.  That number is 747-1899.  Emails may also be sent to



Harbor Fee Reminder


The Harbor Department would like to remind everyone, starting March 15th fees will be implemented after 24 consecutive hours of use.


At the Fishermen’s Work Float and Eliason Harbor Drive Download Zone (reservations required for the drive down).


Please contact the Harbor Department at 747-3439 for additional information.