Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 7:46 PM on Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Homer office a one-stop shop for borough business

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer


Photographer: McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

Tammaron Baxter poses at the borough's Homer Annex.

If all of the Kenai Peninsula Borough departments were combined into one office, what would you get?

The answer is the borough's Homer Annex, located at 206 E. Pioneer Ave., and staffed full-time by Tammaron Baxter.

"I represent the various departments that you'd find in Soldotna — assessing, finance, planning, road service and maintenance, the spruce bark beetle office — for Homer area residents," said Baxter, who has been the office secretary since Jan. 25.

If borough residents need any of several exemption forms offered by the borough, stopping by the Homer Annex and talking to Baxter can save a southern peninsula resident a drive to the borough offices in Soldotna.

If an application for an appeal is needed, that can be handled at the annex. You can register a business in the borough or get copies of sales tax forms. Want to know who owns the parcel next door? Need a copy of your plat? Forgot what you paid in taxes last year?

Those are matters Baxter can address.

"If you have questions about streets being renamed or would like to have a street renamed, or combine lots or parcels, the paperwork's here," said Baxter. "And through road maintenance, you can report road conditions here at the office. If you need a driveway permit or road construction permit, we have them here. And, of course, through the spruce bark beetle office, you can get your firewood permit here, too."

Baxter, who grew up in Kenai, moved to Homer in January 2009, after her husband, Larry, was hired by the Homer Police Department. The couple has two children, twins Cameran and Kaitlyn, 11. Prior to working for the borough, Baxter was the office manager at the Homer News.

The Homer Annex is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., closed from 1-2 p.m. for lunch, Monday through Friday.

Mark Dixson, director of KPB human resources since April 25 and based in the borough offices in Soldotna, oversees the Homer Annex. His goals for the Homer office are to make it better known, first by taking steps to make the office more visible physically and, secondly, by making it more visible digitally. That includes becoming more involved in community activities as well as having a page dedicated to the Homer Annex on the borough's website. Dixson also wants to use the Web page to provide residents a link to borough assembly members Bill Smith, who represents residents within the city of Homer, and Mako Haggerty, who represents southern peninsula residents with the exception of those living within the city.

"The office is basically an extension of what we have in Soldotna. It's pretty amazing because one person has information on all the departments, from assessing to the clerk's office to the planning department," said Smith. "It's just a general wide source of information. Just about whatever a person needs from the borough, they can find at the annex."

Of Baxter's presence, Smith said, "I'm real pleased with her positive attitude and friendly face."

It's a face Homer can expect to be seeing more of as the Annex makes itself known.

"Whether that means volunteering time for charitable events or community meetings, we'd like to make our presence a little more known and a little more involved," said Baxter, who has signed up to help with the Alaska Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics on May 21.

"I'm volunteering my time for that as a police officer's wife, but those are the type of events (the Homer Annex) would like to start getting involved in."

"If anyone (on the southern peninsula) has any suggestions on how we can better our service, whether it be physically or digitally, let us know," said Dixson. "Let Tammaron know. Let me know."

The Homer Annex can be reached at 235-8840. Dixson can be reached at (907) 714-2130 or by e-mailing mdixson@ borough.kenai.ak.us.

McKibben can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.