Soldotna accepts grant for water reservoir

Soldotna has operated with one water tank, instead of the desired two, for months following the demolition of a tank last December.

At a Wednesday meeting, Soldotna City Council accepted a $2.5 million State of Alaska Grant to build a new, larger tank.

City Engineer Kyle Kornelis said now that the city has the grant in hand, it is in the process of requesting design proposals for the new reservoir, which the city intends to build next spring as soon as weather allows.

Kornelis said the city was able to make adjustments to meet daily demand, standby and fire suppression needs with the remaining 1-million gallon water reservoir.

“Fortunately, our existing reservoir hasn’t had to come offline for repair or maintenance yet,” Kornelis wrote in an email.

The new 1-million gallon capacity water tank will allow the city to resume optimum operations, increased flow capacity and equalized pressure across the city’s distribution system, he wrote.

The reservoir will be built off of Kalifornsky Beach Road.

“Having redundant drinking water supply on both sides of the bridge will also be valuable to our community,” Kornelis wrote in an email.

The city demolished the 41-year-old tank following its roof partially collapsing. Kornelis said repeated snow accumulating on the roof appeared to have decreased the lateral support and caused the rafters to fail.

Kornelis previously said the 500,000-gallon tank also had a deteriorating foundation, and the close proximity of the two tanks was a major factor in the city’s decision to demolish the damaged tank.

It was the close proximity of the two tanks and concerns about ramifications in the event that the damaged tank completely collapsed and hit the other one that played a major role in the decision to demolish the tank, Kornelis previously said.

A special council meeting was held last year to address the situation and about $200,000 was approved for the demolition.

Kornelis previously said the city’s current water reservoir is in good condition.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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