Kenai city manager receives praise, raise

Posted: Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Kenai City Council announced that city manager Rick Koch will receive a 5-percent pay increase after a positive yearly evaluation during the council Monday evening. His current salary is $130,625.

"We gave him an overall exceptional rating," said council member Joe Moore. "On a scale of one to five, he's a four."

The city evaluated Koch on his ability to work with government bodies, acquire funding for projects and financial management, council members said, specifically the beginning of the library's expansion.

Vice Mayor Hal Smalley pointed to his progress on the bluff erosion project. Although work has yet to begin, he credited Koch with raising the nearly $11 million for the project.

Mayor Pat Porter said that she gave Koch high marks for his work on quality of life issues, such as the building of various city parks and developing a city water plan.

"Residents have a very defined idea of what they want their community to be like," Koch said.

Smalley said that Kenai's economic development under Koch's management stood out. While the projects started before he came to office, the finalization of the Walmart and Lowe's deals occurred during his tenure, members said. Porter also credited Koch with the municipal airport's recent profitability.

While Koch has overseen growth, his raise of $6,531.25 will come out of the city's "small budget surplus," as described by finance director Terry Eubank.

"It's going to have an effect (on the budget)," Eubank said. "It will require a supplemental appropriation."

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