Cemetery site possible: Committee may have final resting place for residents

Posted: Monday, March 30, 2009

Soldotna might have a place to bury its dead before the snow flies next winter.

Mayor Peter Micciche told the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday there is "a good chance" the Unified Community Memorial Park Committee will vote on a site today at 5:30 p.m. and bring a recommendation back to the council.

"All the owners are willing to sell," Micciche said, referencing owners of four connecting parcels between Sohi Lane and Knight Drive, referred to as the "Knight Drive site."

Parcel owners include the Aleutian-Pribilof Islands Association, Inc., the Soldotna Church of God, Zachary Bell and Todd Pollock.

Micciche has said earlier he would like to see the committee agree on a site and have a city cemetery built this year.

The Knight Drive site contains sufficient acreage to allow the cemetery to be built on a rise in the middle with little or no impact on homeowners and other residents on adjacent property.

In other council business Wednesday, contracts were approved for upgrading the city water utility electronic control and data acquisition system, and for bidding and construction phase engineering services on two street improvement projects.

A $138,000 contract was awarded to Electric Power Systems Inc. for renovation and upgrades of the water distribution Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system.

The computerized system continually monitors and records data benefiting the city's utility department. It allows workers to schedule preventive maintenance before a problem arises by notifying the department when an emergency arises and by permitting remote viewing and operation of the system, according to a memo from Public Works Director Steve Bonebrake.

A $45,440 sole-source contract was awarded to Wince-Corthell-Bryson for engineering services on the Arbor Street project.

City Manager Larry Semmens said the project originally included paving the parking lot at the new city maintenance shop and paving Arbor Street, but only the parking lot was paved because the city did not have enough money to complete the project.

Grant funds have now been received allowing the city to complete paving Arbor Street between East Redoubt Avenue and the shop this year.

Also unanimously approved by the council was a $33,500 contract to Origin Technical Services Inc. for engineering services on the Banner Lane road-improvement project.

Origin did the design engineering on the project, according to Semmens.

Work will include paving the street, building curbs and gutters and insulating utilities.

The city manager said the work would be completed this summer.

During council reports on city boards and commissions, councilman Shane Horan said the Airport Commission discussed a plan for the Soldotna Municipal Airport to begin using red dye on the runway to aid pilots landing in low-light situations.

In February, a twin-engine, turbo-prop Beechcraft plane crashed while landing at the airport in flat-light conditions. The pilot reportedly was unable to locate the runway and crashed alongside it. No one was injured, but the aircraft incurred considerable damage to the engine and landing gear.

The dye will either be applied to the ends of the runway or down the center line.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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