Soldotna Council seats new members, sets legislative priorities

The Soldotna Council voted to support a list of 2014 capital improvement plan priorities topped by the continued renovation of Binkley Street, and money for the unexpected repairs to one of its water tanks.

City Engineer Kyle Kornelis said the list, which includes funding requests for the construction of a maintenance shop as well as improvements to Soldotna Creek Park, was an aggregate list of projects submitted to the borough and Legislature that the city has identified as important capital projects.

Kornelis said the borough gathers capital project requests from unincorporated areas of the borough as well as first-class cities and submits those as funding priorities through the legislature as well.

Mark Dixson, city manager, suggested that the city address its economic development on the central Peninsula. He said the he had been in a meeting with a developer from Anchorage.

“We had a good presentation however, it was abudantly clear that we really don’t have a course of action for economic development on the central Peninsula,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of opportunities, and a lot of synergies that we’re not identifying.”

Dixson said perhaps the city should meet with key stakeholders in the Soldotna area and potentially form an economic development council.

Several people have applied for the city’s project manager position and the city began reviewing applications Thursday. The position, which lists a salary range of $57,782 to $82,264, will assist the city’s building official and engineer in dealing with a sharp uptick in commercial construction projects.

Two incumbent council members, Dale Bagley and John Czarnezki as well as new council member Nancy Eoff were sworn in and Brenda Hartman was appointed to be the city’s new Vice Mayor during the Wednesday meeting.

Rashah McChesney can be reached at rashah.mcchesney@peninsulaclarion.com.

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