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August 2011

  • Another Bounty Bag Program Participant

    Thank you to Jack Glasheen who participated in the Bounty Bag program through Hope Community Resources. Remember, this is a great opportunity for any non-profit organization or student group looking to raise funds!  With the generous sponsorship of the Kodiak Lions Club, every bag of trash picked up earns you $3.00 as well as the pride in knowing you are supporting your community.  Call the Chamber if your organization is interested in participating in the Bounty Bag program.

    For a limited time, the Kodiak Lions Club is offering $5 per bag for Hawkweed. Contact the Chamber for details.

  • Considerations for a 1% Borough Sales Tax

    Dear Chamber Members,

    On October 4th the community will vote on installing a 1% Borough wide sales tax. As a community we voted to fund the high school construction project, with our portion estimated to be $76M. I believe the Borough Assembly is meeting its obligation to identify funding sources necessary to complete this project and, as a property owner, appreciate that they are looking for alternate funding sources.

    However, there are some points that need to be addressed before we accept this initiative:


    • Generally speaking the debt service amount required will be close to $2.2 million per year to fund the new high school. The FY2012 assessed value of all taxable property in the Borough is $1,039,223,833 so this will require an increase in the mil rate of 2.00 to 2.50 mills. This is an increase in the area wide mill rate of 23%.
    • This increase will raise the severance tax rate from 10.75% to 13.25%, taxes collected on fish, timber and gravel.
    • A 1% sales tax will raise an estimated $1,600,000 and costs associated with collecting the tax are estimated at $200,000 (software and additional employees). The remaining $1,400,000 will reduce the mil rate increase by about 1.25 mills which means property taxes will still need to be increased .75 to 1.25 mills.
    • Debt servicing will be required until 2035, which to me basically makes it a permanent tax increase. The city also has a number of projects on the horizon that will need additional funding so the current 6% city sales tax and/or the City's 2 mill property tax will probably need to be raised.
    • The community can look at cutting some services to reduce the Borough budget but, of the $16M borough and school district's combined budgets, $10M is for the school district budget. I assume the community doesn't want to cut school programs to fund the building of a new school.
    • There are other issues with a sales tax that should be considered as well. Sales Taxes are sometimes considered regressive taxes because they have the largest impact on those who make the least amount of money. This is especially true when food items are taxed and also due to the $750 cap currently in place.
    • There are a number of studies, all done in the lower 48, that show an increase in sales tax decreases local shopping. It is very difficult to measure the effects of the decrease per business due to the elasticity of items sold, for example food and fuel are needed so they will still be purchased. We are also on an island so the only real competition, other than large purchases going to Anchorage, is the internet.

    Beyond the matter of the immediate tax increase is the overall need to evaluate revenue generation versus capital and recurring expense needs. The city has a couple large projects on the horizon that will more than likely require an increase in the sales tax or the city's own mil rate. The library project will require an approximate $6M contribution and Pier III will need to be replaced in five years at an estimated cost of over $20M. Estimates for the expansion of the Landfill are in the $12-15M range. Health insurance costs increased 35% at both the City and Borough without a corresponding increase in matching revenue.

    The Chamber has written letters encouraging the city and borough to offer the sale of lands for development. We feel this would not only help raise revenue through the initial sale, it would also broaden the tax base and increase property tax revenues. In addition to the revenue generated, it would also alleviate some of the housing problems our community is facing. Another possible solution could be to re-evaluate the school project to see if there are options that would reduce the overall cost without jeopardizing the intent of the referendum. It may also be time to take another look at unifying the City and Borough governments. Although the cost savings aren't as great as one would think, I believe it may help in the planning and prioritization of projects and reduce the competition for tax dollars. This may also be accomplished by having the City Council and Borough Assembly host more joint meetings together.

    In short, this community needs to acknowledge that we have a limited revenue supply that is accessed by competing governmental entities that are facing growing demands. Do we continue to push for the best of everything or do we start to settle for things that suit our needs and checkbooks?

    Trevor Brown, Executive Director
    Kodiak Chamber of Commerce

  • Happy Birthday US Coast Guard

  • Blue Planet Eco-Charters New Member Spotlight

    Come sail away for a few hours or the entire day. Here, the Alaskan current swirls nutrient-rich water throughout the Island's coastal fiords. The geographical setting is one of the most pristine and rich marine environments in the world. Come enjoy abundant marine mammal and bird viewing at sea. Beachcomb along an isolated beach, or on extended cruising, look for Kodiak bears along a salmon stream.
    Our vision is to provide an alternative platform for sightseeing and naturalist touring in Kodiak. We like the idea of conservation of resources, and promote low impact principles. We can provide opportunities for viewing the marine environment from a safe, comfortable vessel.
    S/V Seamoore is a custom 40' Bruce Roberts design. Built in 2000, it's notable for the following features:
    • A large galley with amenities for comfortably living aboard
    • Two double Pullman berths and a pilothouse that converts for a third bunk
    • A single head with shower
    • Dining table featuring panoramic viewing
    • Almost 360 degree vantage point from inside the pilothouse, and excellent cockpit and foredeck space for "taking it all in"
    • A dinghy for beach access. Kayaks are welcome.
    This 14-ton vessel with a full keel makes her ideal for comfortably cruising northern Pacific waters. Powered by a 79hp Yanmar turbo diesel, she burns about a gallon per hour at 6-7 knots.

    The Captain: Captain Tom holds a USCG 50 Ton Master, and has been safely navigating Kodiak waters since 1999.
    Laura, also a sailor, has taken ASA sailing courses, chartered boats in CA and HI, and assisted in bringing Seamoore to Kodiak.
  • What's New at the Kodiak State Fair?

    Need guide link

    Kodiak State Fair is excited to introduce their brand new Exhibitor Guide with new Departments and Classes. The new Exhibitor Guide mirrors the much larger Palmer State Exhibitor Guide and provides more opportunities for people to enter their work. It separates items, better defining categories such as: Art, Arts & Crafts, Bakery, Canning, Clay Arts, Crops, Dairy, Fibers and Fleece, Flowers, Handwork, Homebrew, Honey, Livestock, Photography, Poultry, Quilts, Rabbits, Sewing, Student Projects, Winemaking, Woodworking & 4H.


    The guide can be found online at http://www.kodiakrodeoandstatefair.com with printed sections at the Kodiak Library. Look for the General Information guide on how and when to enter, along with rules and Premium Payout information.

    If you can make, build, grow, or harvest it - you can enter it in the Fair! Start planning now by checking out the new exhibitors' guide. Big changes include new departments, photo display criteria, and larger Premium Payouts!

  • Ice House Member Spotlight

  • Darlene Williamson New Member Spotlight

    My name is Darlene Williamson and I am a Realtor with Alaska One Realty located at 1420 Mill Bay Road, Suite A.  As a Realtor, I can provide listing services, buyer's services and professional market analysis. I am also the Property Manager for Alaska One Realty where we provide management services for property owners whether they are in-town or out-of-town.

    I have been a realtor since 1995 when I first specialized in Property Management. In 2000 I moved into sales and found my true passion. After closing another business, my late husband committed me to this profession, and a good commitment it is. I thoroughly love watching buyers sitting at the closing table sign documents with a look of joy on their faces, or the seller's look of joy that their home sold and they can move forward to their next endeavor, whether a move-up or a move-out of Kodiak.

    My late husband and I moved to Kodiak in 1977 from Elmendorf AFB where we were both in the Air Force. Throughout the past 30+ years here I have seen many changes, from more paved streets to the coming of Wal-Mart and Taco Bell/KFC. I've watched our economy hold strong even through the loss of the Crab Fishery in the 1980's. I have been a member of the Chamber of Commerce in the past through the businesses I have owned and I served as a Chamber Board Member before my hiatus. I love our community and truly believe we live in the most beautiful place on earth.

  • President's Message

    Hello Everyone!

    I would like to say congratulations to Angela McFarland and the organizers of the annual Relay For Life! They raised almost $50,000.00 to help fight cancer!

    Carrie Morton had a great get together at Residential Mortgage on July 29th at her Business After Hours. She was celebrating 20 years in business and her 50th birthday! We had a great turn out and many, including Carrie, were multi-tasking with the Relay For Life walk. Chef and Martine with Mill Bay Coffee catered the event and the food was delicious.  Carrie spoiled us with beer, wine, great door prizes. Shelly Paulson was the big winner of the airline ticket! An added bonus to the event was the amazing weather!

    This coming Monday, August 8th we have a Chamber Forum, presented by The Small Business Administration. This will be held at the Best Western Kodiak Inn from noon to 1:00pm. The event is open to the public so spread the word. Lunch will be available for $10. The focus of the presentation will be on resources for small businesses including access to capital, federal contracting programs, and training, counseling and mentoring on anything business related. Come check it out!

    Our Business After Hours this month will be a little different. We will be on a sailboat! Tom and Laura Kelly with Blue Planet Eco-Charters will be hosting . This will be held from 6pm to 8pm on August 26th. The Kelly's will have refreshments and Tom will have a slide presentation running to show off the amazing adventures Blue Planet Eco-Charters have already had in their first year in business. This should be a fun event!

    I would like to welcome one of my personal friends and local Realtor, Darlene Williamson, as our newest Chamber Member!  We also welcome Ila Dillion and Seldovia Chamber of Commerce as a new Chamber member this month!

    Come join us at all YOUR Chamber events!

    Lindsay Knight


  • July Chamber Board Meeting Minutes

    Need link

    Click here to view the July Chamber Board Meeting Minutes.

  • Chamber Forum on August 8th

  • August Business After Hours

  • Economic Development News

    need report link

    Kodiak is consistently one of the top three fishing ports in the United States in terms of landing value. In 2010, ex-vessel value of Kodiak fishery was $132 million which is up from $115.5 in 2009 and down from $ 145.3 in 2008. Port of Kodiak landing volume was 313 million pounds, higher than 2009 (293M lbs.) and 2008 (278M lbs.) landings.

    According to ADF&G 2010 Kodiak landing report, average salmon prices were slightly above the previous year. King salmon price increased from $0.67 to $0.76 per pound. Sockeye salmon price went up from $1.1 to $1.39 per pound. Chum salmon price was $0.51, 7 cents up from 2009. Sablefish price seemed to increase from $4.47 to $5.55 per pound compared to previous year. Increase in price was also observed for crab which was up from $2.34 to $3.09.

    Alaska Department of Revenue/Tax Division recently published its annual Alaska salmon price reports for 2010. The reports are compiled from prices submitted by the processors that sold at least one million pounds at wholesale. Detailed information regarding to report is available at http://www.tax.alaska.gov/programs/whatsnew.aspx.

  • Thank You to our New & Renewing Members
    Welcome New Chamber Members!


    Ila Dillion
    Darlene Williamson, GRI
    Thank You to our Renewing Members!


    Dave Ostlund
    Borghy Holm
    Dick Powell
    Jody Hodgins
    Lindsay Knight
    Rick Kniaziowski
    Mike Munsey
    Joyce Gregory
    Sven Haakanson Jr & Carol Austerman
    Eloise Lenhert
    John F. Kozub
    Mike Anderson
    Heather Cavanaugh