Launching a boat from the beach at Anchor Point can be a dangerous activity, especially when the wind picks up.
Constructing a harbor would solve that problem and be a boost to a lower Kenai Peninsula community intimately tied the the recreation, tourist and fishing economy, say promoters of an Anchor Point Port and Harbor Service Area.
Signatures on a petition to begin efforts toward a port and harbor were certified by the borough clerk's office March 11. The service area would include the existing Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Service Area. Its northern boundary would be Happy Valley Creek and its southern border would lie at Mile 165 of the Sterling Highway.
"From the chamber's perspective and from a business perspective, a harbor here would be of just critical importance," Tom Clark, chair of the Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce, said Wednesday. "It would provide an outlet for business, a home for boats and for folks to come to Anchor Point and be a permanent part of Anchor Point rather than only a seasonal part. Anything you can do to improve the infrastructure is very important to business."
Establishing the service area would allow promoters to partner with the borough government to conduct a feasibility study, estimated to cost about $1 million, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dale Bagley said in a report to the assembly Tuesday.
Setting a nominal tax levy of 0.1 mill would bring in roughly $12,871 a year from the $173.3 million worth of taxable property in the service area, which includes approximately $4.9 million associated with oil and gas activity in the area.
While not much in revenue, the tax dollars would open the doors to various state and federal grants that could help cover the bulk of the feasibility study costs. If that study determined no port or harbor facility is feasible, the service area board would ask the assembly to dissolve the service area, Bagley said.
Clark said the community appreciated the assembly's action.
"We look forward to moving ahead with this project," he said.
A public hearing in Anchor Point has been scheduled for May 8 at 7 p.m. A location has yet to be announced, but likely would be at the Anchor River Inn or Chapman Elementary School.
The petition included 97 valid signatures, 27 percent of the voter turnout in the October 2001 election. Some 2,450 people live in the proposed service area.
In other lower peninsula business, the assembly authorized award of a contract for the Homer Baling Facility fire detection system project to Air Tek Inc. of Soldotna for $29,469. Air Tek will provide labor, materials and equipment to install a detection system.
They also introduced an ordinance to appropriate supplemental capital funds and authorize purchase of a Class A fire pumper by the Kachemak Emergency Service Area.
The ordinance allows a shifting of funds within the service area's approved budget to make up for a gap between the low bid for the pumper and the amount already appropriated for the purpose by the KESA budget. Such shifting of funds requires the assembly's approval. The matter gets a hearing May 7.
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