It’s official. The city of Kenai has a new city manager.
At its regular business meeting Wednesday, the Kenai City Council approved an employment contract with Rick Koch, public works director for Palmer.
Koch (pronounced COOK) already had accepted the terms of the agreement.
The contract, which takes effect March 6, provides for an annual base salary of $98,440 for the city manager.
The job has been open since July when the council decided not to renew City Manager Linda Snow’s contract. City officials have not said why.
In addition to the salary, Koch will be provided a $250 monthly car allowance instead of being given a city vehicle to use.
Koch also will qualify for benefits provided under the Kenai Municipal Code including paid holidays, paid annual leave, leave of absence with pay, Public Employee Retirement System pension and medical insurance.
The employment contract runs through March 5, 2009.
The city also agreed to reimburse Koch up to $5,000 for moving expenses to bring his family and household goods to Kenai from Palmer.
Koch has been Palmer’s public works director for six years, previously served as the head engineer for the North Slope Borough and is “a well-known engineer statewide,” according to acting City Manager Chuck Kopp.
Koch has a civil engineering degree from Boise State University.
Initially 54 people applied for the job, including eight from Alaska two of whom were from the Kenai Peninsula.
While the city searched for a replacement for Snow, Kopp has been doing double duty, serving as acting city manager and police chief.
Kopp will continue in his full-time capacity as Kenai police chief.
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