Erosion funds head federal wish list

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2003

In addition to discussing a smoking ban, the Kenai City Council on Wednesday:

Voted unanimously to accept a $16,895 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation for four computers, a server and new computer software for the library.

Voted unanimously to pay $28,000 from the Airport Terminal Fund to purchase Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant equipment that will allow disabled passengers access to aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration has agreed to reimburse the city for 93.75 percent of the cost of the equipment.

Voted unanimously to set a public hearing date for the proposed McCollum-Aliak Drive paving project for March 5. Twenty-five percent of the cost of the paving will be paid by the residents of the area.

The council will decide at the March 5 meeting whether to assess that cost on a linear or a square footage basis.

Voted unanimously to declare the Kenai Coastal Trial and erosion protection project as its number one capital improvement request for U.S. federal funds.

Voted unanimously to award a $28,290 bid for an all-wheel drive minivan to Kenai Chrysler Center. Council member Duane Bannock abstained from the vote, citing a conflict of interest, since he is an employee of the Kenai Chrysler Center.

Voted unanimously to file letters protesting the continued operation of liquor licenses for New Peking, AlaskaLanes Bowling Center and Eaglechief Inc. unless these entities satisfy their outstanding obligations to the city, including unpaid sales taxes, property taxes and lease payments, by Jan. 30.

Listened to a report given by Cherie Brewer, president of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce board of directors, about the chamber's plan to refocus its efforts from being a social organization to promoting and developing commerce more.

As a result, the chamber will no longer organize some of the programs it once did, like the community cleanup day and Kenai's Fourth of July celebration. The chamber hopes to delegate these responsibilities to other community organizations.

It will, however, continue to operate its job shadow program, its weekly luncheon forums, its Town and Gown event, the Hooked on Kenai program and its yearly fund-raising event, which this year was called Hooked on Kenai Wild.

Received an update from Mayor John Williams about his efforts to contact retail businesses about moving into the Big Kmart location once Kmart moves out.

Williams said he's contacted Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Fred Meyer and Target about the vacancy. It will not be up to the city to decide what business, if any, moves into the spot, since the city does not own the property.

"There isn't a lot the city of Kenai can do at this time except wait and see what the people want to do," Williams said.

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