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Assembly ponders next step to facility

Building would house emergency center, dispatch, CES administration

Posted: Monday, January 05, 2004

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will consider a resolution Tuesday that would authorize the next step in a long-range plan to construct a multiuse facility for emergency services on recently purchased property in Soldotna.

Resolution 2004-003 authorizes planning for the new facility on Wilson Lane property purchased by the borough in 2002. Once built, the new facility will include E-911 dispatch, Central Emergency Services administration and a borough emergency operations center.

Funding for the project is expected to come from several sources, including $2.5 million for the operations center now in a mini-omnibus bill currently awaiting U.S. Senate concurrence, as well as additional funding that may be available through Homeland Security grants from the state for E-911 dispatch equipment, according to Ed Oberts, assistant to the borough mayor.

In a memo to the assembly, Oberts also said Central Emer-gency Services has identified another $1 million that could be used for the project.

"This resolution, if approved, will allow the administration to prepare more detailed cost estimates and identify additional funding sources," Oberts said. "Timing is important as it is anticipated that one or more of the funding sources will have time limits that may require the building to be substantially complete within two years of award."

The Wilson Lane property is located near the current Central Emergency Services station in Soldotna. The CES board has approved the concept of a combined facility adjacent to CES Station 1 to relieve overcrowding in the existing building.

The assembly also is expected to vote on whether to reconsider Resolution 2003-129, which put the assembly on record requesting the state to buy back shallow gas leases on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

The controversial measure, which passed 6-3 at the Dec. 16 meeting, came in response to demands from residents on the lower peninsula who largely were uninformed by the state earlier this year that the leasing efforts were in process. Many only became aware of the leasing program after it was too late to comment. The state did not advertise the lease sale in local media, a major failure say opponents of the leases.

Assembly member Gary Super-man of Nikiski, who voted against the resolution, requested the reconsideration vote.

In other business, the assembly is expected to:

Hold a public hearing on Ordinance 2003-45, which would amend the borough code to provide for a flat tax on aircraft.

Hold a public hearing on Ordinance 2003-19-29, appropriating funds to purchase a new folder-stuffer mailing system.

Act on Resolution 2003-130, which would provide for a special election to ask voters for authorization to directly fund school district cocurricular activities in addition to the operating funds currently authorized by law.

Introduce Ordinance 2003-19-30, appropriating $95,000 from the Central Emergency Services fund balance for completion of a new fire-fighting water-source well at Station 4 on Kalifornsky Beach Road. A public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 3.

Introduce Ordinance 2003-19-31, which would appropriate a $596,836 grant from the Division of Emergency Services to reimburse the borough for costs incurred responding to flooding in October and November of 2002. A public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 3.

Introduce Ordinance 2003-19-33, which would appropriate $49.9 million for the Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Expansion Project. The money comes from the proceeds of bonds. A public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 3.



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