Council looks at waiving dock fees for residents

Posted: Friday, May 20, 2011

At their Wednesday night meeting, Kenai's City Council unanimously introduced an ordinance so that residents wouldn't have to pay for some fees at the city dock.

Councilman Mike Boyle brought the ordinance forward, and it was met with wide-spread support.

"This is nothing new," said Councilman Joe Moore. "I'm glad to see it finally on the table."

The council asked the city attorney to weigh in on the legality of providing services for free.

Boyle said he thought the language of the ordinance would work.

"I think it could withstand a challenge," he said. "Granted, I'm not an attorney with expertise in this area."

City Attorney Krista Stearns said she had some concerns about how it could hold up in court, in part because of conditions on federal money the city has received.

City Manager Rick Koch said he would come back to the council with a tentative plan for how the fee-waiver could be administered, including how the city might determine residency.

The ordinance will be up for public hearing at the council's next meeting, on June 1.

In other action, the council:

* Set a public hearing for on improvements to James Street and Kiana Lane for June 15.

* Met in executive session and directed the City Attorney to move forward in discussing easement rights with Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska.

* Passed the first reading of the city's budget on the consent agenda, and postponed a vote on property tax rates until they hold a public hearing on the budget at their next meeting.

* Thanked Student Representative Hannah Coffman for her work on the council, and wished her well in the future.

— Staff Report

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