City and Borough of Sitka

Press Releases and Public Service Announcements

 

Historic Preservation Comission Meeting

07/02/2020

The Sitka Historic Preservation Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at Harrigan Centennial Hall. The Commission will hold officer elections, discuss the Historic Preservation Plan, review the City Seal Redesign contest entries, review a project at 419 Lincoln Street, and hear citizen requests on commemorating a statue for Elizabeth Peratrovich and Commission support of/participation in a future Peace Ceremony. Public comment is welcome. Commission meetings are open to the public; teleconference options for the meeting can be found at: https://www.cityofsitka.com/government/departments/planning/index.html

 

 

Utility Rate Reminder

07/02/2020

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.

 

 

Property Tax Billing Update

07/02/2020

Due to the COVID-19 related extension of the appeal period for property tax valuations, the 2020 property tax bills will not be issued in early July as they usually are.  They will likely be issued late July to mid-August 2020. Taxpayers will have 60 days from the day that bills are issued to remit payment.  Please contact the Tax Office with any questions at 747-1853.

 

 

Health Needs and Human Services Commission Meeting

07/02/2020 

The Health Needs and Human Services Commission will meet on Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. in Harrigan Centennial Hall, 330 Harbor Drive. Agenda items include: Food waste, food security, and composting, Address substance misuse especially regarding drinking in youth; Support creation of a collective impact board; Public Policy (Three-foot bike clearance); and City Seal Redesign. The meeting is open to the public.

 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and state health mandates encouraging residents to practice social distancing, and limit group gatherings, individuals that would like to participate by teleconference or videoconference can contact melissa.henshaw@cityofsitka.org or call 747-1826 by 11:30 a.m. the day of the meeting to obtain information to join the meeting.

 

 

Tree and Landscape Committee Meeting

07/02/2020 

The Tree and Landscape Committee will meet via Zoom at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Agenda items include: 1. Future projects for 2020 and 2. City Seal Redesign. The meeting is open to the public however, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and local/state regulations requiring residents to stay at home, practice social distancing, and limit gatherings, the CBS has created a process to hold commission meetings via teleconference and/or videoconference. Those who would like to participate can email melissa.henshaw@cityofsitka.org or call 747-1826 by 4:00 p.m. the day of the meeting to obtain information to join the meeting.

 

 

CARES Act Funding Utility and Moorage Relief Progams

06/23/2020

Applications for the CARES Act Funding Utility and Moorage Relief Programs are now available. You can find applications online at www.cityofsitka.org by clicking the link at the top of the page. Paper copies of the applications are available at City Hall, 100 Lincoln Street or the Harbor Office, 617 Katlian Street.

 

Applications received after the deadline of 4:00 p.m. on Friday, July 31, 2020 will be considered late and will not be accepted. We encourage submission of applications through the website. Alternatively, applicants may submit by email to caresact@cityofsitka.org or to the Utility Office at City Hall.

 

Utility subsidy inquiries or questions can be directed to the Accounting Clerk at 747-1859.

 

All moorage subsidy inquiries or questions can be directed to the Harbor Office at 747-3439.

 

 

Summer Electrical Billing Correction

06/10/2020

Please note that due to an error in the utility billing system, the summer seasonal electrical rate was billed for this week’s billing cycle. As the billing system does not allow a corrected bill to be generated, we will be issuing the original bill along with a transaction history report showing that a credit has been issued and the correct total bill amount for this billing cycle.  For anyone on autopay, a credit will be issued to your account and will be reflected with your next billing cycle.

 

Please call 747-1818 with any questions or to have the credited amount reflected prior to the next billing cycle.

 

 

Airport Parking Lot Drop Off and Pick-Up

06/05/2020

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.

 

 

Sitka Community Playground Tile Replacement Planned

06/02/2020

Rubber surface tiles for the Sitka Community Playground at Crescent Harbor will be replaced over the next several weeks under the manufacturer’s warranty. Replacement will be performed in 5 stages, the playground shall remain open with the current area of work closed to the public. Click here to see the map.

 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any questions please contact Public Works at publicworks@cityofsitka.org or 747-1804.

 

 

Sales Tax Reminder

05/26/2020

Reminder to all businesses - the Sales Tax rate has increased to 6% effective Wednesday, April 1st and will continue through September 30th for all sales, services, and short-term rentals, unless otherwise exempted. The sales tax rate remains at 5% for long term rental of real property such as trailer space rent. The Transient Room Tax rate remains at 6% year-round.  

 

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Sales Tax Office at (907) 747-1840.

 

 

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.

 

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).

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.