City and Borough of Sitka

Press Releases and Public Service Announcements

Police and Fire Commission Meeting

05/26/2020

The Police & Fire Commission will meet Wednesday, February 26th at 6:00 PM in Centennial Hall. Items on the agenda include Parking Citation Hearing Board. This meeting is open to the public.

 

 

Spring Clean Up 2020

05/20/2020

The City and Borough of Sitka announces its Annual Community Wide Spring Clean-up July 18-26. Click here for all the details.

 

 

City Offices Reopening

05/13/2020

City buildings are reopening. For some departments appointments are required—this is to ensure compliance with all Federal (including OSHA), State, and local regulations. When entering City buildings, customers are asked to follow posted social distancing guidelines and are encouraged to wear a face covering. For information on specific hours of operation for each department, visit www.cityofsitka.com or contact 747‐1818 to be routed to a specific department.

 

 

Reopening Buildings After Prolonged Shutdown - Water Division Notice

05/14/2020

Has your building been closed for business and is now looking at reopening? The CBS Water Division recommends running cold water from all taps to flush stagnant water from pipes. Stagnant water in pipes could breed bacteria. Run water for 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of your building. It is also recommended to drain and refill hot water tanks.

 

For guidance on reopening buildings after prolonged shutdown or reduced operation to go the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/building-water-system.html or call the CBS Water Division at 747-4074.

 

 

WARNING: Aggressive Sea Lion Reported Frequenting the Harbor System

05/07/2020

The Harbor Department received a report of an aggressive male sea lion within the harbor system. Please be aware of your surroundings while at the docks. To report an incident, contact the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) at 907-747-5950.

 

 

2020 First Quarter Sales Tax Update

05/01/2020

At its meeting on April 28, 2020 the City and Borough of Sitka Assembly passed Ordinance 2020-24A providing for abatement of penalties and interest for any late payments of first quarter 2020 sales tax (due on April 30th) until June 30, 2020. Please note that timely filing of sales tax returns is still required. To qualify for abatement of penalties and interest on late payment of first quarter taxes, you must submit a signed certification as follows:

Submit a written request for abatement of any penalty and interest on remittance of sales tax collected in the first quarter of this calendar year through a signed letter declaring that the need for abatement is due to COVID-19 circumstances to our sales tax office by email tax@cityofsitka.org or send by mail to City and Borough of Sitka ATTN: Tax Office, 100 Lincoln Street, Sitka AK 99835

If you have any questions, contact our Tax Office at 747-1840 or email tax@cityositka.org.

 

DNR Sitka Seaplane Base Comment Period

05/01/2020

The State of Alaska has started the process of transferring the tide and submerged lands to the City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) for the New Sitka Seaplane Base. A Preliminary Decision & Public Notice has been issued for public comment on this important milestone. The deadline for public comment is 5:00 PM, Monday May 11th, 2020.

Click here to obtain the notice, Alaska Department of Natural Resources Preliminary Decision, or instructions on submitting comment.

 

2020 Census Is Quick and Easy

04/2/2020

Remember that Sitka Counts! Please remind your friends and family to complete the 2020 Census. Responding to the Census guarantees Sitka will receive funding for public health, hospitals, emergency response, public safety, and economic development through 2030. Small actions today make a big difference for our future. Respond online at www.2020census.gov or by calling 1-844-330-2020 (Spanish: 1-844-468-2020 or Tagalog: 1-844-478-2020).

 

 

Fisheries Enhancement Fund Request for Proposals

04/21/2020

Request for Proposals for the disbursement of the available $38,000 in the Fisheries Enhancement Fund, established by Ordinance 2006-38 and approved by voters in the regular election held October 3, 2006, will be received via email at renee.wheat@cityofsitka.org until Friday, May 22, 2020, 2:00 pm. Proposals received after the time fixed for receipt will not be considered.

The proposal should contain the following information:

• History of the organization
• Current balance sheet
• Pro forma financial statements
• Dollars requested from funds
• Statement of what will be achieved with the funding
• Explanation of how this will enhance the fisheries within the City and Borough of Sitka

Questions may be directed to Renee Wheat, Administrative Coordinator, call 747-1812 or email renee.wheat@cityofsitka.org.

 

Unified Command Recommends Cloth Face Coverings - News Release
04/07/2020
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 pio@cityofsitka.org 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
04/16/2020
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.

 

Real Property Tax Assessment Appeal Deadline Extended to June 15, 2020

04/15/2020

The City and Borough of Sitka Assembly at its meeting on April 14, 2020 passed an emergency ordinance extending the real property tax assessment appeal date from April 15, 2020 to June 15, 2020. The ordinance states “the COVID-19 pandemic has caused great personal hardships and inconveniences that have made it extremely difficult for many persons owning real property in Sitka to meet the deadline for filing an appeal.”

If you have questions, feel free to contact Assessor Larry Reeder at 747-1822 or email larry.reeder@cityofsitka.org.

 

Assembly Meeting Viewing Options

04/09/2020

Regular Assembly meetings are livestreamed through the City’s website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page. The regular meetings are also aired live on KCAW FM 104.7, and broadcast live on local television channel 11.

 

Detailed information on agenda items can be found on the City website at https://sitka.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx or by contacting the Municipal Clerk’s Office at 747-1811.

 

 

Providing Public Testimony at Assembly Meetings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

05/21/2020

Regular Assembly Meetings are held the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in Harrigan Centennial Hall. Agenda and supporting documentation is available at https://sitka.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx or by contacting the Municipal Clerk's Office at City Hall.

 

Public comment on agenda items is encouraged and welcomed. While in-person  testimony will be taken during regular and special meetings, citizens are encouraged to provide comment by telephone.  This is in an effort to comply with State of Alaska COVID-19 Health Mandates regarding physical distancing and group gatherings.

 

To sign up for telephonic testimony, call the Municipal Clerk’s Office at 747-1826 or email clerk@cityofsitka.org prior to 4:00 p.m. the day of the meeting and specify the item you wish to testify on. Staff will do its best to accommodate requests received after 4:00 p.m. and requests received during the meeting, however, while the meeting is in progress, no guarantees can be made. For discussion/direction/decision items, citizens are encouraged to sign up for telephonic testimony in order to have the opportunity to comment if a formal motion is made.

 

Assembly meetings are livestreamed through the City's website, YouTube Channel, and Facebook page. Livestreaming links may be found on the homepage of the City’s website at www.cityofsitka.com. In addition, regular meetings are aired live on KCAW FM 104.7, and broadcast live on local television channel 11. To receive Assembly agenda notifications, sign up with GovDelivery on the City website.

 

For more information contact the Municipal Clerk's Office at 747-1826 or 747-1811.

 

 

CBS Temporarily Supspends Policies Regarding Utility Bills

04/03/2020

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.

 

 

Notice Regarding Baranof Warm Springs and Tom Young Cabin

04/03/2020

Bathing facilities at Baranof Warm Springs and Goddard Hot Springs are closed to public until further notice. Tom Young Cabin remains open, but it is advised to follow CDC protocol.

 

To prevent or slow the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the City and Borough of Sitka is closing the hot tubs at Baranof Warm Springs and Goddard Hot Springs.

 

Tom Young Cabin users shall follow social distancing recommendations while using the camp site.

 

We encourage all to stay active, get fresh air, yet still practice social distancing and follow CDC recommendations. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/index.html

 

Questions may be directed to PIO@cityofsitka.org.


 

Library Offers Limited Services

04/03/2020

Sitka Public Library is now offering limited checkout options while we are closed to the public. Up to three specific titles may be ordered over the phone, or the public can email the library to request a surprise bundle of 5 titles selected by a librarian. To request titles, please call 747-4020 during office hours (Monday-Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM) or send an email to library@cityofsitka.org. For more information please visit the library website or Facebook page.

 

 

Message to Incoming Travelers through the Harbor System

03/30/2020 

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

03/30/2020

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: www.epa.gov/coronavirus.

 

 

SFD Search and Rescue Update

03/27/2020

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

03/19/2020

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 www.cityofsitka.com 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 pio@cityofsitka.org.

 

 

CBS Contact Information

03/19/2020

The City and Borough of Sitka is here to serve you. CBS offices may be closed to the public, but we are still here to serve you. Call 747-1818 and select the department you wish to speak with. Or, click here to review the list for Department contact information. Visit www.cityofsitka.com for an overview of services.

 

Building Department Update

03/19/2020

Until further notice the City and Borough of Sitka Building Department will continue to issue permits, provide inspections, and answer building code-related questions during this time of concern. Please contact the Building Department for additional information.

 

Building Official, Pat Swedeen: (907) 747-1832 or pat.swedeen@cityofsitka.org  

Building Inspector, Dale Welty: (907) 747-1837 or dale.welty@cityofsitka.org

 

 

Playgrounds / Batting Cage Closed

03/18/2020

To prevent or slow the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the City and Borough of Sitka is closing all school playgrounds, the Sitka Community Playground, and Moller Complex batting cage and playgrounds.   

 

We encourage children to stay active, get fresh air, yet still practice social distancing and follow CDC recommendations. 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/index.html

 

Questions may be directed to PIO@cityofsitka.org.

 

 

Harbor Restrooms Remain Open

03/17/2020 

Restrooms at Eliason, Thomsen, ANB and Sealing Cove Harbors remain open and are cleaned on a regular basis throughout the day.  Please be mindful of keeping the space clean to minimize exposure risk to our cleaning crews and remember to wash your hands! 

 

 

CBS Payment Update

03/16/2020 

Due to efforts to slow the progression of the COVID-19 virus, the City and Borough of Sitka’s Utility Payment Office is closed to the public, however billing, payment, and utility account setup and closure services remain available.  Staff are available during regular business hours to process credit card payment via phone at 747-1818.  If you wish to pay by check, mail service remains available and payments left in the drop box outside of City Hall will be collected on a daily basis. Please do NOT leave cash in the drop box-if you are unable to make payment by check or credit card, a cashier’s check can be processed at a local bank.  Please feel free to call with any questions.  We appreciate your patience during this time.

 

 

Harbor Fee Reminder

03/11/2020 

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. 

 

 

Crescent Harbor Float Replacement Project Update

01/24/2020

Due to construction planned for Crescent Harbor Float Replacement Project in the coming week, pedestrian traffic routes along the nearby Sea Walk and access to Floats 5, 6 and 7 will continue to be impacted. The parking lot across from 709 Lincoln Street remains closed, as well. Pedestrian routes are shown on the attached figure. Turnagain Marine Contractors (TMC) will post traffic control signs at critical areas along the Sea Walk and at the entrance to the Crescent Harbor ramps and the parking lot.

 

A crane will be operating in the Crescent Harbor parking lot, just north of the Net Shed. See attached figure. This will limit parking adjacent to the work.

 

Pile installation – both driving and drilling – has begun and is progressing well. Work had been limited to daylight hours, but has recently been extended to sunrise-to-7 p.m. Float 4 has been installed, but is not yet thoroughly secured with all the required pilings.

 

TMC is in the process of demolishing Crescent Harbor Floats 1 through 4 ahead of replacement of the floats, headwalks and gangways. Electrical and water services will also be replaced. TMC expects float installation to be complete in March, with electrical and utility work to follow.

 

Other parking and pedestrian access changes will be needed over the course of the project. Those changes will be posted here on the City and Borough of Sitka PSA page, on the CBS Facebook page, and shared with local media outlets. Please call Public Works with any questions: 747-1804.

 

 

Crescent and Thomsen Harbor Pump Out Stations Closed

12/20/2019

The sewage pump out station at Crescent Harbor is closed for repairs until after the rebuild project is complete. Thomsen Harbor pump out station is also unusable due to the rafting of the boats next it. Harbor users are being asked to use Eliason Harbor pump out station. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Harbor office at 747-3439.