With Gov. Sean Parnell’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposing $1.3 billion less in the general fund than the current year, funds for a $17 million expanded Soldotna Regional Sports Complex aren’t figured into the plan.
But Soldotna City Manager Mark Dixson said he wasn’t surprised that it wasn’t included.
“I figured this was just going to be the first step in a long road of trying to seek state funding,” Dixson said.
He said going through the process will help the city later as they continue seeking funding for the project. He said the plan is to talk with representatives to figure out the best path moving forward.
At its Wednesday meeting the Soldotna City Council amended its Capital Improvement Plan to reprioritize the items the city is looking to fund. It unanimously voted to switch a new roof for the sports complex roof and the expansion to the sports complex, which puts the roof as No. 1 project and the expansion at the No. 2 spot.
“The (sports complex) roof is going to be our No. 1 priority and that’s what we’re going to seek funding for from the legislature,” Dixson said. “We doubt very much that the legislature, especially in these economic times will be willing to fund the entire (sports complex) expansion.”
The roof project has been on Soldotna’s Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal years 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Multiple attempts to repair 30-year-old roof have been made, but water is still leaking through. A new roof is priced at $1.2 million on the plan. Dixson said a new roof is “definitely a need.” While a new roof also isn’t included in the governor’s budget, Dixson said the city is remaining positive in seeking funding for the project.
This fall the council approved a $17 million price tag for the sports complex expansion plan. At the council meeting, Dixson said the city asked for $10 million from the governor. The city presented the governor with a packet and letters supporting the project, and mentioned the city’s plan to fund $3 million of the project and find the remaining funding from other sources.
The resolution also added 15 items ranging in price from $10,000 to $100,000 to the city’s plan.
“Those are just small projects,” he said. “If there’s funding in certain state agencies that they’re looking for projects to fund, then those items with the amounts associated might be funded, if they fall within the parameters.”
Kaylee Osowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.