Council makes purchase for boating facility

Kenai’s council agreed to purchase new dump trucks and hire a contractor for the Kenai boating facility at its Wednesday meeting.

 

The council unanimously agreed to award low-bidder American Marine Corporation a contract for work at the boating facility. The $64,851.52 contract is for cathodic protection and repair of a piling, according to Rick Koch, Kenai’s city manager.

The cathodic work will be done on a dock and on a gangway. That work involves replacing a section of pipe, filling it with concrete and adding protection from corrosion.

The council also unanimously agreed to purchase two used dump trucks for $60,000. The purchase will help keep the city running for several years to come, Koch said, and will enable the city to make smaller payments to the vehicle replacement fund. The city had originally budgeted nearly $300,000 to buy those trucks new over the next several years, so the purchase represents a significant savings.

Koch said the trucks would likely be delivered this week.

The council also held a work session on the city’s agreement to manage the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center. That agreement is up for discussion because the current operator, the Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau is merging with the Kenai Chamber of Commerce. 

The KCVB has asked for the contract to be transferred to the new joint organization.

Jim Butler said the two organizations agreed to the merger unanimously. The plan they developed is being reviewed by the state’s Division of Corporations. The time-frame for approval is unknown.

“It could take a while,” Butler said.

Koch will bring forward an item for the council to consider at its March 7 meeting, along with a recommendation for council.

 

In other business, the council:

Held an executive session regarding litigation over the CINGSA project. The city has hired outside legal counsel to assist with that issue.

Held an executive session regarding the city manager’s contract. After the session, the council directed city administration to have a termination study conducted for the position. That study would provide the city with information on the cost of opting out of the Public Employees Retirement System for the position. 

If the city opted out, each the city manager would have a choice of whether or not to have their tenure in the position included in their state retirement. That means a city manager could choose not to have the position count towards his or her state retirement. Such a choice would make it easier for the city to hire someone who had already retired, or for a city manager to receive their state retirement and get paid by the city. A city manager could also choose to participate in the system normally after the city opted out.

Currently, Kenai’s city manager position is part of the PERS system. The study would provide the city with the cost to opt out, but further action would be required for the city to actually do so.

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