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Kenai council examines capital project wish list

Posted: September 23, 2013 - 9:28pm

A replacement fire engine, upgrades to the Kenai Recreation Center and a new garage at the Kenai Senior Center are three of the more than 20 items on City Manager Rick Koch’s capital project wish list.

At a Wednesday afternoon work session, Koch briefed Kenai city council, Rep. Mike Chenault and staff from Rep. Kurt Olson and Sen. Peter Micciche’s offices on the city’s capital projects funding requests for State Fiscal Year 2015.

The list includes 22 municipal capital projects that require funding. The list is in its early stages, Koch said.

Koch included three projects in his handout at the work session that require federal funding.

Phase two of upgrades to the city’s waste water treatment plant is listed as a number three priority with requested funding of $1,840,553, according to the document.

The other two project funding requests, not marked as immediate priorities, are the Kenai River bluff stabilization project and a lower Kenai River drift boat pull-out, according to the document. Requests for the bluff stabilization project come in at $24 million; for the boat-pull-out project, more than $3.5 million, according to the document.

Council Member Brian Gabriel Sr. said he also wanted the boat pull-out project to include a request for the funding of a study to examine the river’s carrying capacity.

The 19 other projects listed seek funding for various facility and infrastructure upgrades, vehicle replacements, street and walkway improvements, and athletic field renovations.

The top eight projects, in order of importance, and their listed funding according to the document are as follows:

■ An equipment storage facility next to the city shop at $2.5 million;

■ Paving city streets at $1 million;

■ Conducting phase two of waste water treatment plant upgrades at $1.8 million;

■ Replacing a 31-year-old Kenai Fire Department tanker at $500,000;

■ Starting phase two of the Kenai industrial park’s construction at $500,000;

■ Improving the city’s recreation center at $500,000;

■ Constructing a garage for the Kenai Senior Center at $400,000; and

■ Implementing new fee shacks and automated pay parking and camping systems for Kenai River access at $225,000.

“We will (also) develop a list of small projects over the course of the next several months,” Koch said.

That list will include smaller, legislative “grab-bag” items, such as the $90,000 replacement of a fire and rescue boat or the $25,000 installation of Beaver Creek Park playground equipment.

Koch will submit a finalized list to city council at its Oct. 16 meeting.

Dan Schwartz can be reached at daniel.schwartz@peninsulaclarion.com.

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