Soldotna seeks to keep ice dry

Posted: Wednesday, June 14, 2006

To keep the weather out of Soldotna’s indoor sports arena, the city will consider appropriating $340,000 for roof repairs.

The city council learned in January that the Soldotna Sports Center’s 23-year-old roof needed replacing, and a proposed ordinance to be introduced tonight would appropriate $340,690 for the project.

The city was told by an architect and structural engineer that the roof membrane needs to be replaced and structural upgrades are recommended for a section of roof across the front of the building, a section over the meeting rooms and kitchen and a section over the racquetball courts.

The appropriation from sales tax capital would cover repairing the entire roof with a substance called the Astech System, which would allow water vapor to evaporate while blocking water from the existing roofing system. The Astech System has a 10-year warranty.

The full report of ASCG Inc., the architectural firm that completed the center’s roof inspection, included photos taken from inside the center during rainy weather, showing large yellow plastic trash barrels placed strategically around the front hallway of the facility to catch leaking rainwater.

“If a replacement roofing system is not installed, the general maintenance and upkeep will cost the (city) significantly and could lead to more costly interior finish repairs,” the engineer’s report said.

The city council also is expected to consider a job description for a drug enforcement investigator with the Soldotna Police Department. The new temporary position would be funded through a $75,000 state grant the department hopes to receive.

As required by city code, the property tax mill rate is to be set at tonight’s meeting. The rate — 1.65 mills — remains unchanged from previous years.

A public hearing is scheduled for a proposed ordinance that would extend the hours of operation for existing adult businesses with liquor licenses.

In an attempt to tighten restrictions on adult-oriented businesses operating in the city, Soldotna last year enacted a new municipal code regulating locations and hours of operations.

The new rule mandates the businesses be closed between midnight and 9 a.m.

The owner of Good Time Charlie’s, a bar and strip club at the east edge of the city, told the council the new law severely impacts his business because his patrons usually begin showing up at 11 p.m.

The proposed ordinance would allow Charlie’s to stay open until 5 a.m.

As an attachment to the ordinance, council members will receive a report from Soldotna police showing only two police responses to Charlie’s after midnight between May 2005 and May this year.

By comparison, post-midnight responses to the Riverside House totaled 22; to Hooligan’s, 21; to the Maverick, 15; and to BJ’s, one, during the same period, according to the report.

The council also is slated to consider applying $136,756 from the state to the city’s employee retirement plan account to reduce unfunded liability. The city budget already contains funds to pay 22.94 percent of payroll into the Public Employee Retirement System.

The council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

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