The Kenai City Council had a visit from a former council member at its meeting Wednesday night.
Christine Monfor complimented the city on several items and offered some advice.
Monfor, who served on the council from 1983 to 1995, said she still considers herself a resident of the city, despite spending recent winters Outside. She complimented the city for what it's done along the beach where the annual dipnet fishery takes place, including cordoning off the dunes on the north side of the Kenai River mouth. However, she had some concerns for the south side.
"My only concern is that I see no preparation this year on the other side of the river," Monfor said. "There used to be a Dumpster and a Porta-potty there to keep from seeing toilet paper flow up the river or out to the inlet."
Parks and Recreation Director Bob Frates said later that the city removed those because of problems in getting them emptied before they overflowed. He said there are no plans to install them for this year's season.
Monfor went on to praise the city for its landscaping, despite the brown patches on lawns brought about by the dry summer.
"I recommend a policy for watering and fertilizing city property early," she said. "Making the grass green up is a big part of the city.
"It takes my breath away seeing the green as I drive into Kenai."
She suggested partnering with area businesses to work on maintenance of green space in front of their offices. She also said the city should build a larger, year-round greenhouse to have more flowers and plants ready to plant in the spring.
Monfor also passed out photos of dead trees to the council.
"There is no reason to see dead trees in the city," she said.
Her other suggestion regarding the appearance of the city was the repair of the curbs at the Kenai Municipal Airport.
She also talked about economic development in light of funding reductions to the Economic Development District by the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
"The city of Kenai put a lot of money into (the EDD), and you should keep an eye on it," Monfor said.
She suggested creating an economic development group for the city to attract business.
"I'm tired of hearing how Kenai is a dying town," she said. "It may not have the retail business of our sister city (Soldotna), but many of those are seasonal and we have the airport and the Challenger Center and an ice rink -- finally, and all our parks.
"There's not a small town that looks as good as Kenai," she added. "Kenai is still at the top of the heap."
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