City OKs Primrose complex

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hearing no opposition whatsoever from neighbors, Soldotna City Council members last week approved a senior citizen apartment complex planned for Little Avenue near Fireweed Street.

Primrose Retirement Communities of Aberdeen, S.D., plans to build a 68-unit, two-story apartment building on property due east of Mountain Rose Estates.

Councilman Peter Micciche said he had been prepared to defend the position of neighbors who might oppose such a large building being erected in the otherwise single-family home neighborhood, but he heard no such opposition.

The estimated $19 million project was approved unanimously by the four council members present at Wednesday's council meeting. Councilmen Shane Horan and Scott McLane were absent.

The planned development will include 32 assisted-living units, 36 independent-living units and two 16-stall parking garages.

Primrose Retirement Communities has locations spanning the northern Midwest from Ohio to Montana.

The council also granted the appeal of a contract award to perform heating and ventilation work at the Soldotna Animal Shelter.

Jimmy Libert, proprietor of Duct or Sheetmetal Inc., said his bid, which was the lowest submitted, was rejected by the city because he failed to comply with a requirement that bidders have all taxes paid up at the time of bid submission.

"I didn't realize it was an issue with property tax," Libert said. "My sales taxes have always been up to date."

The next lowest bidder, Glen Martin of Great Northern Construction and Management, was not in attendance during the appeal.

Because Libert's $9,985 bid was about $1,000 lower than the negotiated bid submitted by Martin, and Libert was only $233 in arrears on his taxes, Councilman Ed Sleater moved to grant the appeal and award the contract to Libert. The motion passed unanimously.

City Manager Tom Boedeker later said he planned to remove the tax compliance certificate requirement from the bid process. Contractors who receive a bid award in the future will need to be tax compliant at the time the contract is let.

During a Committee of the Whole meeting prior to the council meeting, city officials discussed newly enacted Alaska Public Office Commission financial disclosure requirements, protesting what they said are "invasive" probes into public officials' finances.

Micciche said he thinks financial reporting is "very important," but said he believes the city should opt out of APOC requirements "where we intrude on (financial data of) others and on our families."

He said, as the owner of rental properties, he is concerned that his tenants' financial information will need to be disclosed.

No action was taken on the matter.

During his Mayor's Report, Dave Carey said 41 applications have been received for the position of city manager, from which Boedeker plans to retire in August.

Carey said the consultant assisting the search for a replacement asked to meet with the council during the week of April 14.

"I would like to schedule a special council meeting for 5:30 p.m. April 17, followed by an executive session," Carey said.

During the executive session, he said he hoped to narrow the field of candidates to 12.

The council also approved transferring a Soldotna Municipal Airport lot lease from John and Tim Amundsen to Kurt Eriksson. The three had been sharing use of the aircraft parking lot for a number of years, according to Boedeker.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at

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