Budget holds several boons for the peninsula

Posted: Sunday, April 30, 2006

State lawmakers have turned their focus to the fiscal 2007 capital budget, which includes funding for several projects on the Kenai Peninsula.

There is no guarantee any of the proposed peninsula appropriations will make the final cut, but as of now, many are in the preliminary budget on the state’s Web site.

The city of Soldotna is in line for $3.4 million in federal highway funds for the Keystone Road reconstruction project, while the city of Kenai would receive $850,000 in federal dollars for various city road improvements.

Meanwhile, if approved as is, the Kenai Peninsula Borough would get a little over $8 million, including $2.125 million for road improvements and $5.9 million for the Williamsport to Pile Bay Road project. All $8 million is federal money.

Across the peninsula, the city of Seward may expect a total of nearly $9.68 million.

That would include $2.2 million in general fund money for Phase 2 of the T-Dock and bulkhead project. It also includes general fund money for the Alaska Vocational Technical Center that would cover a $2.5 million dormitory remodel project. Also included in the total is $423,000 in matching funds. Finally, $2.55 million in federal funds funneled through the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities could go toward ferry infrastructure at the Seward Marine Center.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s budget includes a little over $1 million in general fund money for the city of Homer to upgrade its water treatment plant.

Meanwhile, DOT’s budget includes $250,000 for Homer’s multipurpose dock and $1.7 million for its intermodal deep-water dock. Homer’s total would be a little over $3 million.

Nanwalek could get $340,000 for upgrades for its water distribution system. About $255,000 would be federal dollars, with the rest from the state’s general fund.

The Department of Natural Resources budget includes $200,000 in general fund money to rehabilitate the Anchor Point Campground for private operations.

Sen. Tom Wagoner, R-Kenai, who is not on the committee working on the spending plan, said he expects most projects in the governor’s proposal to remain in the bill.

“There may be other funds in addition to that, but they will have to be pretty well justified,” he said.

He also said he would seek funding for Oil Well Road in Ninilchik and Wik Road near Nikiski, as well as funds to match federal dollars earmarked for Agrium.

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