The Soldotna City Council opened its regular Wednesday night meeting by talking about sewage.
Dan Billman presented the finding of a study his company, HDR Alaska, conducted on the Soldotna Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The study was done because the plant's license is coming up for renewal by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The most important part of the survey, Billman said, was ensuring that runoff of waste water from the plant is not affecting the Kenai River, where it empties.
"Treatment is efficient and consistent (and) meets or exceeds permit requirements," he said. "This plant just doesn't impact the Kenai River, so far as we can tell."
Billman then discussed different options for the plant to take as Soldotna's population grows. He said the number of customers the treatment plant handles will probably double within the next 20 years.
Billman specifically recommended the plant change over from using chemicals to purify the water to using ultraviolet light to accomplish the same goal.
"The idea is to disinfect that water before releasing it," he said.
Billman said using light radiation is a bit more expensive than traditional chemical methods but would be much safer for workers and would eliminate chlorine from the waste water fallout.
The permit is currently open for public comment through the EPA. Copies can be acquired at the city offices or on the EPA's Web site.
In other council news:
n The council passed several resolutions to award contracts for various road and park projects. The total value of the contracts was $168,916.45.
n The council passed a resolution officially supporting the natural gas pipeline terminating in Nikiski.
City Manager Tom Boedeker noted the pipeline presentation Mayor Ken Lancaster has been giving to groups around the state is now available on the city's Web site.
n Erica Williamson, of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, told the council that requests for information about Soldotna have increased 66 percent over last year.
"We are the second largest visitor information center and the third largest chamber in the state," Williamson added.
n The council authorized the foreclosure on 15 parcels of land, for which owners have failed to pay special assessments dating back as much as 10 years.
n An ordinance amending the public park section of the municipal code was passed with no comment, from either the public or the council.
n Boedeker told the council that a preliminary budget will be available at the April 27 meeting.
"It's unlikely it will be totally balanced," he predicted. "It's tight. We're still over and we've got to get more to cut out."
n Mayor Lancaster announced the Community Watch program will get going at the end of this month. He said anyone interested in volunteering should contact Kathy Wofford at the city offices, 262-9107.
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