Roads also top agenda for Kenai City Council

Posted: Monday, April 10, 2000

Despite being dominated by discussion about the state of trees in the cemetery, the Kenai City Council meeting Wednesday night did have a other items on its short agenda.

However, just prior to the council meeting, there was a meeting about the resurfacing of the Kenai Spur Highway between miles 10.6 and 22. Public Works director Keith Kornelis had several extra comments for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities project manager. Among them were:

n Filling the area between the sidewalk and curb with asphalt or concrete;

n Place all guardrails on the outside of the sidewalks, instead of between the sidewalks and curb. He said this would facilitate plowing the sidewalks of snow and keep pedestrians from having to walk in the street;

n Enlarge the Main Street intersection. Kornelis said the current straight and turn lanes are too narrow;

n Replace or improve the the traffic lights at Main Street and Forest Drive with "a new, modern system that functions properly";

n Improve visibility of east-bound traffic when turning on to the Spur Highway from South Spruce;

n Evaluate the storm drain system and improve drainage in several areas; and

n Kornelis suggested the four-lane portion of the Spur be extended past Redoubt Avenue or to the city limits to better reduce congestion.

He also said the Forest Drive and Redoubt Avenue paving project has gone out to bid. The long-awaited reconditioning of the roads is planned to begin this summer. Bids will be opened April 21.

In other council news:

n The draft livestock ordinance has been written and will be reviewed by the city's Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednes-day.

n The harbor has gone from an enterprise fund to a revenue fund in the budget this year. Mayor John Williams said this means instead of being operated as a stand alone business, it will be part of the city's overall operations.

"The reason for this is, of course, the diminishing returns of the commercial fishing industry," Williams said. "We're not getting the revenue like we used to."

The council scheduled three budget hearings -- April 18, 27 and May 2. The budget needs to be approved by June 10.

n The mayor, who sits on the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska's board, said the first official mission for cash is this week. He said it is with a group of students coming down from Anchorage for three days of training beginning today.

"And on Wednesday, we've got a charter coming in of their parents and other dignitaries who will fly a mission themselves," Williams said.

Williams said the center and the Alaska Federation of Natives have partnered to receive a $300,000 grant to build 12 hubs in the Bush so Challenger missions can be downloaded over the Internet and flown in remote villages. Bush schools will pay between $1,000 and $1,500 per mission, Williams said.

The next council meeting is April 19.

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