A unanimous vote Wednesday night by the Soldotna City Council gave support for oil and gas exploration in Cook Inlet.
Council member Kyle Fisher introduced a resolution that supported the extension to the term of the Kitchen Lights Unit Agreement so that Furie Operating Alaska, LLC, formerly known as Escopeta, can continue oil and gas exploration and development in the unit.
“I think that it’s important to support these endeavours for oil and gas exploration,” Fisher told the council. “Many of our residents’ livelihood is dependent on oil and gas service industries and anything that we can do as a city to effect further development in the area — I view as positive, that’s why I brought this resolution forth.”
Fisher said that Furie is filing for an extension of their current lease for the Kitchen Lights Unit, which is a fairly large area in the middle of Cook Inlet, northeast of Nikiski. He told the council that part of the application is a year-by-year plan of what they have to accomplish to meet their agreements.
“So Furie is looking for public support for the state,” Fisher said. “I thought we should lend our support.”
The council also heard a presentation from Soldotna High School Principal Todd Syverson about helping the school talk to the state government in Juneau in hopes of securing funds for a new turf field. The field would allow the Kenai Peninsula to host state championship tournaments, Syverson said.
“I see this as a win-win,” he told the council. “A win for our athletes and students, and a win for our community. Rather than our tax dollars going to Anchorage hotels, restaurants, gas stations, etc — we have an opportunity to really help our city.”
Syverson also mentioned that with a turf field, SoHi’s soccer teams could start their season three or four weeks earlier to be able to keep up with other schools around the state.
Mayor Peter Micciche told Syverson that he would be willing to sit down with him to draft a resolution asking the council for support of the project.
“Where it goes from there, clearly the track and field at Soldotna High School is in dire need of repair,” Micciche said.
If a resolution is drafted, it will be introduced at the council’s next meeting on Feb. 8.