John Mohorcich, Kenai Peninsula Borough River Center Manager, stands on a stairway that was damaged by flooding on the Kenai River next to the center. The center is prepared to help landowners with the permits that are required to repair damaged river structures.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
As river walks and stairways begin to emerge from the ravages of this winter’s ice floes, property owners along the Kenai River are getting a good idea of what needs to be done to put their docks and fishing platforms back in place.
Before starting, however, residents should contact the Kenai River Center to apply for a mandatory 2007 Flood and Ice Damage Permit.
Although the ice damage permit is free, if the actual repair work is being done in the river an Alaska State Park the property owner also will need a state park permit, which costs $50, according to Jan Yeager, education coordinator at the Kenai River Center.
The river is a state park all the way from river mile 82 to the Warren Ames Bridge at mile 5, just above the mouth at Cook Inlet.
She said the special ice damage permit application has been streamlined, and Kenai River Center staff workers will circulate the application to the Kenai Peninsula Borough, state and federal agencies that have jurisdiction of the project area.
Yeager said some property owners already may have active permits for projects that were under way prior to the winter ice floe event, but if any changes are now necessitated by the ice damage or modifications are being made to the original plan, the ice damage permit is required.
“It’s best for people with questions to contact us,” Yeager said. “The odds are slim that all of a person’s permits will still be valid.”
Property owners should allow 30 days for their completed applications to be processed, she said. All permits must be in place before work begins.
People can pick up applications for the ice damage permits at the Kenai River Center on Funny River Road across from the Soldotna Municipal Airport. Applications also may be downloaded from the center’s Web site: www.kenairivercenter.org.
“Hopefully a positive result of this winter’s disaster will be new innovations in the way riverfront access structures are designed and installed,” Yeager said.
She said recent trends show people using lighter-weight materials for their walkways and stairs, and they are installing stairways that are more easily removed before winter.
“After our experience this winter, people are talking about stairways that hinge higher up,” she said.
The Kenai River Center’s fishing platform and stairways were badly damaged by ice this year and the borough, which owns the center property, will be applying for the ice damage permit as well.
The center will examine ways to redesign its platform and stair structure so it can be pulled farther away from the river in winter, Yeager said.
For more information, visit the River Center’s Web site, www.kenairivercenter.org.
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