The Soldotna City Council voted Wednesday to approve the creation of two special assessment districts (SADs) that will allow the city to split the cost of paving eight Soldotna streets with local residents.
For several months, the council has been discussing two separate plans to pave Amaryllis Street, Anthurium Street, Trollius Avenue, Lily Drive and Rose Garland Road known as the "flower streets;" as well as Fairway Drive, Fairway Circle and Green Court, all located near Birch Ridge Golf Course.
Wednesday, the council took the final step toward authorizing plans that would split the cost of paving the streets equally between the city and neighborhood residents.
Both paving plans originated with neighborhood residents who petitioned the city to create the districts. For the flower streets, 75 percent of residents said they are in favor of creating the districts, while 63 percent of the golf course residents indicated they're in favor of the plan.
City Manager Tom Boedeker told the council the creation of the SADs was in keeping with local opinion and recommended the council move forward with the plans.
Within each SAD, the cost of paving the streets will be split equally among affected property owners. Although the council indicated it was overwhelmingly in favor of creating the SADs, at least one member argued that charging each property owner the same amount is unfair, because some lots will derive more benefit from the paving than others.
Council member Sharon Moock earlier this year proposed a plan that would charge residents based on a formula that took into account the size of each lot. However, most council members said they believe the equal share plan is easiest to implement.
Moock said Wednesday she doesn't have a problem with that plan, just that she believes a slightly more equitable solution could have been reached.
"I still don't think it's exactly as good as we could have made it," Moock said. "But no one else agrees with me, so that's OK."
Only one member of the public testified Wednesday on the creation of the SADs. John Dombovy, who lives on Amaryllis Street, thanked Soldotna Public Works director Steve Bonebrake for his work on the project.
"I was the one who started the petition," Dombovy said. "Thank you."
The vote to create a SAD for the flower streets was 6-0 in favor. The council voted 5-0 in favor of the golf course SAD, with Jane Stein abstaining because she lives in the neighborhood.
In addition to creating the districts, the council also voted unanimously to award a contract to McLane Consulting Group, which submitted the lowest bid for the work, in the amount of $66,760 for engineering work on the projects. Council member Scott McLane abstained from the vote.
In other action Wednesday, the council:
n Accepted a $22,722 Alaska Highway Safety Officer Grant for project "Get Drunks off the Road." Police Chief Shirley Gifford said the money will go toward buying nine digital video cameras for the police force.
n Voted to approve temporary rules for the expanded Soldotna Creek Park that will allow people who set up displays at the park for special events to stay overnight. The rules will only be in place through June.
n Authorized a cooperative agreement with Kenai River Sportfishing Association Inc. for repair and maintenance projects on city parks, trails and walkways.
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