Kenai City Council plans to discuss fishery fee hike

Kenai City Council faces three options to solving the Dipnet Fishery’s waste problems, City Manager Rick Koch said.

One: leave it as it is. Two: ask Kenai residents to subsidize cleanup operations. And three: double some user fees to pay to pay fund fish and solid waste management stations.

Koch said the only viable option is to increase fishery user fees.

“It’s really going to stir some (stuff) up,” he said. “Council’s got themselves in a little bit of a spot. They haven’t agreed to any increases in the past.”

Koch’s preliminary 2012 fishery report proposes increasing parking and camping fees on North and South Beach and at the city’s dock launch. Koch will present the report as an information item to city council Wednesday.

“Whatever fee structure we adopt … I want the word to the word to get out to the participants of the dipnet fishery and to the state,” he said.

Koch estimates the fee increases will generate enough money — about $237,000 — to cover the $233,836-priced fish and solid waste management stations, according to the report.

To manage the fish waste problem on the beach, the city will place three 24-foot-long trailers on the beaches between Kenai Avenue and South Spruce Street.

Fish-cleaning tables 24 feed long will be attached to each side of the trailers, and a roughly 1,500 gallon water tank for cleaning fish will sit in the middle, Koch said.

City personnel will manage the cleaning stations, and contractors will remove the fish waste. Koch said the contractors will likely place several totes or bins at the end of the cleaning stations to collect the fish waste.

To manage the trash left on the beaches, the city will have 12, six-cubic yard dumpsters strung out along North Beach. On South Beach the city will place up to six dumpsters in camping areas along the beach.

The city will service the dumpsters daily.

City council will set dates for public hearings to discuss the proposed fishery fee increases.


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