Soldotna council addresses construction needs, member changeover

Between hazardous material found in the library, the buckling roof on a city water tank and the second phase of the Binkley Street renovation project, the Soldotna City Council had expensive construction on its agenda during its Wednesday meeting.


The council approved a change order on the library expansion project, discussed a partial collapse of a supporting beam in its half a million gallon water tank and passed a resolution requesting state funding for its Binkley Street renovation project.

The library expansion project was delayed when asbestos and lead paint were discovered in the interior and a change order was needed for the project.

According to city manager Mark Dixson’s memo to the council 90 percent of the $111,574 cost was for abatement of the hazardous materials.

Council member Nels Anderson said the amount was substantial and wanted to know if it was an out-of-the-ordinary cost.

Kornelis said the issue was both the scope of the material removal and the timing, but the high cost was expected because abatement work was generally expensive.

“There were a lot more than we anticipated and then second of all the timing of our need — regardless of when we found it — our project happens to be at the end of the construction season also coinciding with a lot of other projects that have abatement needs,” Kornelis said. “So, limited availability of subcontractors that were capable of doing the abatement. It’s heavily regulated and requires numerous certifications.”

Despite the change order, Kornelis said the project would still be under-budget and had enough money left to accommodate other change orders.

He said, after the meeting, the timeline for the project was extended but would still be substantially completed by the middle of summer 2013.

The resolution also allowed Dixson to issue further change orders on the project.

City administration said a partial collapse of the roof should not cause a disruption in the water supply; though the city will have to drain the tank to inspect it.

Kornelis said the water in the tank had not been affected as the steel decking on the roof of the tank was still intact, so the water will be released into the system.

“Every indication is that it won’t affect the needs of the city but it will certainly impact our available quantity,” he said.

The council also voted to accept at EPA grant for a water, sewer and storm drainage master plan.

Council member John Czarnezki said the resolution addressed priorities listed in the city’s comprehensive plan.

“It’s nice to know that through this grant alone we’re going to be addressing three of our midrange priorities,” he said.

The city received a legislative grant for the North Binkley Street reconstruction and listed South Binkley as a top priority for the city during the 2013 fiscal year.

According to a memo from Kornelis, the estimated cost of the project is more than $1.9 million so the council authorized a resolution requesting funding from Gov. Sean Parnell for the remaining $1.3 million in costs.

The council also voted to certify the results of the Oct. 2 election meaning new council member Nancy Eoff and returning member Czarnezki will be eligible to take their seats by the Oct. 24 council meeting.

Several council members said they would miss working with Anderson.

Mayor Peter Micciche said he admired the “force” that came onto the council three years ago when Anderson and three other council members were elected.

“Dr. Anderson was always the voice of reason,” Micciche said. “Sometimes I’m not sure he’s listening and being a physician his phone rings once in a while but when it’s time for the right comment, he’s always listening and there’s always integrity and the right solution in the very brilliant mind of his. He’ll very much be missed.”