As I drove home from a meeting at the Kenai River Center on Tuesday evening my thoughts were that what I experienced there was the best I can recall in a long time coming from any meeting including government, any government. I applaud the fact that Mayor Navarre came to this meeting, called by the Borough to discuss the K-Beach area flooding issue, loaded for bear, if you will.
There were at least a dozen individuals from various Borough departments and other agencies prepared to share their expertise, provide opinions and field questions from the public. It was apparent to me that these folks had done their homework, that they know their business and have been addressing the flooding issue since the high ground water events of last fall.
I particularly appreciated info shared by the Borough’s legal department that explained the Borough role in the subdividing of land, the legal confines the Borough must operate within and options that we citizens and land owners might consider, say a vote for a special service area and additional taxes to fund it. I took special note of historical information shared by a hydrologist, with a PHD no less, that suggests that our bench (my choice in words) running from the Kenai Mountains west to Cook Inlet has been a drainage area of some sort for decades and decades and decades, perhaps for millennia. In responding to a question of the viability of numerous pump stations to address high water tables I found sobering the response by one that a reasonable start in that consideration would be to decide if we simply could and would afford the costs of electricity to run such pumps. We can not and should not.
Be it an optimum or a pleasant solution or not, it is my opinion that we as land owners in this area should buck up and admit that we bought land adjacent to a huge area of wetlands and even areas maybe not designated as wetlands but that are significantly wet much of the year. We need to deal with our issues as individuals and as neighbors and not spend needless time and energy looking outside of our own spheres for a silver bullet if you will. No one coerced me to buy near wetlands. A large consideration on my part was the inexpensive nature (or so maybe I thought) of my purchase. If after naturally occurring events my costs to maintain my lifestyle on my land go up, well, maybe a bit for foresight prior to purchase would of been in order.
We will get through this people. To think that we can or should attempt to subdue this large ecosystem for the benefit of a relatively small portion of the Borough population is ill advised. To think that we could then do the same as other wet Borough areas of “need” pop up, and they will, would be sheer folly.
This citizen feels the Borough has and is acting prudently and effectively on this issue given the confines so easily recognizable. I think the Borough Mayor’s sense of fiduciary responsibility is spot on in this matter. He’ll get my vote in the weeks ahead.
Thanks for listening.