Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 2:02 PM on Wednesday, November 30, 2011

City council honors Novak

The Homer City Council started its Monday night meeting on a somber note. A joint statement from Mayor James Hornaday, the council and city employees read by Mayor Pro Tempore Beth Wythe, noted the recent death of former council member Dennis Novak, 71, who was found dead in a well near his Baycrest Hill home Nov. 21. Wythe praised Novak's contributions in his two terms on the council from 2003 to 2009.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to Dennis' friends and family," Wythe read. "Dennis was a dedicated public servant, devoting countless hours to promoting and improving city services. He was a friend to us all and he will be deeply missed."

A standing-room only crowd of about 45 people, including government class students from Homer High School, held a moment of silence in Novak's honor.

Following the brief memorial, the council plowed through its regular agenda. Mayor Hornaday was absent to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with his family. The council extended the lease for the Homer Boys & Girls Club and continued debate on the 2012 budget (see stories, pages 1 and this page).

In other action, the council:

• Passed an ordinance repealing an ordinance that required separate water meters for each apartment in a multi-unit building. That ordinance had unintended consequences when city officials discovered adding new lines with shut-off valves would add to the expense. The new ordinance does allow multiple meters on Homer Spit buildings.

• Approved a mutual aid agreement between the Homer Volunteer Fire Department and other fire departments;

• Approved and renewed a 5-year lease for $1 a year with Pier One Theatre for a city building on the Spit;

• Approved a resolution directing the city manager to develop a budget, scope and schedule for connecting Heath Street and Lake Street along Waddell Way — the gravel road running from the post office to Lake Street;

• Authorized the city manager to apply for and accept federal Environmental Protection Agency Special Act Appropriations Project funds in the form of a 45-percent matching requirement for $485,000 to complete the Kachemak Drive Phase II Water and Sewer Improvements.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.