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Kenai to consider TV role

Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2007

If one council member gets his way, future business to come before the Kenai City Council will be fed into the TV rooms of all who are served by GCI cable.

In a memo to the council and the mayor, council member Bob Molloy said he would like the council to consider delayed broadcasts of regular meetings on cable TV.

Citing the live broadcast of Seward City Council meetings to that city’s residents, Molloy said GCI informed him Seward “is directly hooked up to GCI’s cable.”

The location of GCI’s cable in Kenai does not permit live broadcasts of its council meetings without installing an expensive underground cable. GCI could, however, provide tape-delayed broadcasts the following day at no charge.

The council previously did not support Molloy’s request for radio coverage of council meetings, which would have cost an estimated $13,200, his memo said.

Molloy’s proposal is slated for discussion at tonight’s council meeting.

Also on the agenda is the introduction of Kenai’s $11.7 million budget for the coming fiscal year.

The budget is approximately $900,000 more than last year’s — slightly less than the amount attributed to the increase Kenai must contribute to the Public Employee Retirement System, according to City Manager Rick Koch.

If approved for introduction, the budget would be scheduled for adoption June 6 with an effective date of July 1.

Koch said he also is keeping a fiscal eye on state Legislature appropriations proposed for Kenai, including $100,000 for the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska; $150,000 to enclose the carport at the Kenai Police Department; $648,945 for water treatment; and $150,000 for a new boat launch, specifically for a drift-boat take-out ramp somewhere upriver from Cunningham Park.

The council will revisit a proposal to charge out-of-state fees for visitors using the Kenai Community Library. Koch is asking the council to adopt the Library Commission’s recommendation of a $25 registration fee.

Offering Kenai residents free parking at the beaches during dipnet season will again be discussed. Council member Joe Moore brought the idea forward at the previous council meeting, and it was sent back for additional legal research.

City Attorney Cary Graves said in a memo, in order to get past the state Supreme Court, the nonresident fee should be designed to recapture capital expenditures for facilities built specifically to accommodate the dipnet fishery.

Koch said the fee would be “difficult to get in place in time for this year,” but he said the city would do whatever the council wants.

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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