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Kenai construction season commences

Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Summertime and warm weather get some people thinking forward to family vacations or at least a break from school. To cities, it means load limits are coming off streets and roads and construction equipment can be moved in to begin or resume work on civic improvements.

The city of Kenai is no exception, as evidenced by the agenda for tonight's city council meeting.

Up for consideration are completing the new parking lot next to the Kenai Courthouse, building a maintenance building for the new soccer fields north of town and discussing a planned private renovation of a building at Kenai Landing. The council also is slated to introduce an appropriations ordinance for moving historic cabins in Old Town.

With the council's approval, a $220,327 contract will be awarded to Peninsula Construction Inc. for completing the work on the courthouse parking lot.

Site preparation was completed last fall and the court was given the go ahead to begin using the new lot north of the courthouse, but chose not to until the lot is finished, according to City Manager Rick Koch.

Because all bids on the job came in above the engineer's estimate, the council also is being asked to increase appropriations for the work by $65,750.

Once the lot is finished, it will be leased from the city by the state for 20 years. Lease revenue eventually is expected to pay the cost of construction.

"Work will begin when the load limits come off -- usually mid-May," Koch said.

Courthouse visitors should be parking there by July 1.

The council is to be asked to transfer an additional $5,000 to the soccer park capital project fund for the maintenance building at the soccer fields.

The building is to consist of two conex boxes on a concrete slab with a roof over the space between the steel boxes. Construction of the covered area to span between the conexes is estimated to cost $19,431 and the slab, $3,473.

Koch said the city hopes to have the new fields ready in time for the state soccer tournament the end of August, but said he wants to be sure the grass has established itself fully before using the soccer fields.

"We have the luxury of having plenty of soccer fields (in Kenai) already," he said.

Scheduled for introduction only at tonight's meeting is an appropriations ordinance to accept an additional $8,590 for moving historic log cabins in Old Town.

Four log cabins on Russian Orthodox church land at Fort Kenay and one red-painted log cabin near the Peninsula Oilers bingo hall are to be moved later this month to an open area near the Kenai Art Guild building on Peninsula Ave.

The cabins, which are in the process of having their rotted or missing lower logs replaced, are scheduled to be moved the approximate three-block distance between May 25 and June 8.

Koch said the $8,590 is money received by the Kenai Historical Society from the Rasmuson Foundation for the project.

Also on tonight's agenda is a discussion about scheduling a Board of Appeals hearing on a building permit application by Kenai Landing owners who plan to renovate the interior of one of the buildings at the riverfront site into a hotel.

The building, currently listed on site plans as the "Company Store," is referred to in building plans as the "Old Administration Building." The two-story structure is two buildings over from Sockeye's Restaurant, Bar and Theater.

The council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.



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