Legislature(2005 - 2006)BELTZ 211

01/25/2006 01:30 PM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS


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01:34:49 PM Start
01:35:25 PM Local Boundary Commission Annual Report
01:54:40 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Overview: Local Boundary Commission - TELECONFERENCED
Dan Bockhorst
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    SENATE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                  
                        January 25, 2006                                                                                        
                           1:34 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Gary Stevens, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Thomas Wagoner                                                                                                          
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Albert Kookesh                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Local Boundary Commission Annual Report                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Darroll Hargraves, Chair                                                                                                        
Local Boundary Commission                                                                                                       
Department of Community & Economic Development                                                                                  
550 West Seventh Avenue, Suite                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3510                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented Local Boundary Commission Annual                                                               
Report                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY  STEVENS called  the  Senate  Community and  Regional                                                             
Affairs Standing  Committee meeting  to order  at 1:34:49  PM and                                                             
with little ceremony  passed the gavel to the  new chair, Senator                                                               
Bert Stedman.  Present were Senators Ellis,  Wagoner, Stedman and                                                               
Gary Stevens.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:35:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
            ^LOCAL BOUNDARY COMMISSION ANNUAL REPORT                                                                        
CHAIR BERT STEDMAN announced that the Local Boundary Commission                                                                 
annual report was on the agenda. He asked Mr. Hargraves and Mr.                                                                 
Bockhorst to come forward.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:36:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DARROLL HARGRAVES, Chair, Local Boundary Commission, introduced                                                                 
himself and directed attention to the commission's three chapter                                                                
annual report. He paraphrased as follows:                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Annual Report                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The  commission's  report   addresses  three  principal                                                                    
     areas.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
        · Chapter 1 provides an overview of the                                                                                 
          commission                                                                                                            
        · Chapter   2   summarizes   the   commission's                                                                         
            activities last year along with pending                                                                             
          proposals                                                                                                             
        · Chapter 3 discusses public policy issues of                                                                           
          interest to the commission.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Overview                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska's  Constitution established  the Local  Boundary                                                                    
     Commission to  ensure that  proposals to  create cities                                                                    
     and boroughs  or alter their boundaries  would be dealt                                                                    
     with objectively and with a statewide perspective.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The   commission's  responsibilities   include  judging                                                                    
     proposals for:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
        · Incorporation of cities and boroughs                                                                                  
        · Annexation to cities and boroughs                                                                                     
        · Detachment from cities and boroughs                                                                                   
        · Reclassification of cities                                                                                            
        · Dissolution of cities and boroughs                                                                                    
        · Merger and consolidation of cities and                                                                                
          boroughs.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     The  commission   has  other  powers   and  obligations                                                                    
     established in  law, including a  duty to  make studies                                                                    
     of local government boundary issues.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     The  commission   has  five  members.  One   member  is                                                                    
     appointed   from  each   of   Alaska's  four   judicial                                                                    
     districts. The  fifth member is appointed  at-large and                                                                    
     serves as chair.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Four  members  of  the commission  were  unable  to  be                                                                    
     present here today. They are:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
        ƒBob Hicks, Vice-Chair, from Seward (Third                                                                             
          Judicial District)                                                                                                    
        ƒBob Harcharek, from Barrow (Second Judicial                                                                           
          District)                                                                                                             
        ƒTony   Nakazawa,   from   Fairbanks   (Fourth                                                                         
          Judicial District)                                                                                                    
        ƒGeorgianna Zimmerle, from Ketchikan (First                                                                            
          Judicial District)                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     As  Chair,  I  am  appointed  at  large.  I  reside  in                                                                    
     Wasilla.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The  governor appoints  members  for overlapping  five-                                                                    
     year  terms.  Members  serve at  the  pleasure  of  the                                                                    
     governor.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Commission  members  donate  their  time  as  a  public                                                                    
     service.  We receive  no compensation  for the  time we                                                                    
     contribute to commission activities.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     The  Department of  Commerce,  Community, and  Economic                                                                    
     Development provides staff support to the commission.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     1:42:59 PM                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Activities                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Chapter 2  of the report outlines  boundary activities,                                                                    
     including formal or prospective proposals for:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
        ƒAnnexation by 10 city governments -                                                                                   
          (Among those was  a formal proceeding in                                                                              
          which   the   commission  affirmed   the                                                                              
          annexation  of approximately  4.5 square                                                                              
          miles to the City of Homer.)                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
        ƒCity incorporation of 4 unincorporated                                                                                
          communities - (Among those was a formal                                                                               
          proceeding in which the commission                                                                                    
          approved,  with  amendments, a  proposal                                                                              
          for  incorporation  of  a  second  class                                                                              
          city to serve  the community of Naukati,                                                                              
          located  on   the  northwest   coast  of                                                                              
          Prince of Wales Island.)                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
        ƒReclassification of 4 existing cities -                                                                               
          (No formal petitions  were considered or                                                                              
          are pending.)                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        ƒAnnexation by 3 borough governments -                                                                                 
          (No formal petitions  were considered or                                                                              
          are pending.)                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        ƒConsolidation of a borough and city                                                                                   
          government  -  (One formal  petition  is                                                                              
          pending     before    the     LBC    for                                                                              
          consolidation of  the City  of Ketchikan                                                                              
          and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.)                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
        ƒDetachment from 4 boroughs - (No formal                                                                               
          petitions are pending.)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
        ƒBorough incorporation in 11 unorganized                                                                               
          areas  -   (One  petition   for  borough                                                                              
          incorporation  - the  Deltana Borough  -                                                                              
          is pending before the LBC.)                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Policy Issues.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Chapter  3  contains  a  discussion  of  public  policy                                                                    
     issues of particular  interest to the LBC.   The issues                                                                    
     were raised  in the LBC's  annual report last  year and                                                                    
     in previous years. In brief, the issues relate to:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        ƒLack    of     adequate    inducements    for                                                                         
            incorporation of organized boroughs and                                                                             
          annexation to existing boroughs                                                                                       
        ƒLack     of    standards     providing    for                                                                         
          establishment of unorganized boroughs                                                                                 
        ƒFunding for borough feasibility studies                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
       The commission is pleased that the Legislature is                                                                        
     considering various measures to address incentives for                                                                     
     the formation of organized boroughs. Among those are:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     ƒHB  217, which would exclude the value of oil and gas                                                                    
        that is not taxed by a municipality in the                                                                              
        determination of the required local contribution for                                                                    
        schools                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     ƒSB 112, which would impose a tax on certain                                                                              
        residents and/or individuals employed in the                                                                            
        unorganized borough outside home rule and first                                                                         
        class cities                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The  LBC  is aware  of  the  work  done by  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Advisory  Commission on  Local  Government. Members  of                                                                    
     the  LBC and  staff will  respond to  any questions  or                                                                    
     concerns you wish to direct  to the LBC as you consider                                                                    
     the work of the Advisory Commission.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     The  Local  Boundary  Commission continues  to  support                                                                    
     greater incentives for borough incorporation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     The Local Boundary Commission  urges the Legislature to                                                                    
     make funding  available for regions to  explore borough                                                                    
     incorporation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:52:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARGRAVES offered to answer  any questions and noted that Dan                                                               
Bockhorst with  the Department of Commerce,  Community & Economic                                                               
Development   was  also   available  to   respond  to   technical                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEDMAN thanked  him for the presentation  and commented he                                                               
particularly appreciated  the update  on specific  issues related                                                               
to borough formation.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He asked Mr.  Hargraves to provide his office with  a copy of his                                                               
remarks  and  said he  assumed  that  the  LBC would  insert  its                                                               
viewpoint  and  provide  information  as  the  Legislature  works                                                               
through the process of encouraging borough formation.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARGRAVES said the LBC  steps forward when requested and when                                                               
issues of monumental concern arise.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
There were no further questions or comments.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being nothing  further to come before  the committee, Chair                                                               
Stedman adjourned the meeting at 1:54:40 PM.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

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