Soldotna council stymied by absences

Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summertime absences caused the Soldotna City Council to postpone three items during its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday evening.

The council decided to indefinitely hold back on two ordinances relating to city sewer and water because the city attorney was not available to answer questions regarding liability for non-conforming sewage lines.

The council initially postponed the bill on June 9 at the request of council member Peggy Mullen, who had questions for Utility Division Manager Rick Wood. Mullen was concerned that the ordinance could punish current residents for systems that didn't comply with the current code, but matched previous utilities requirements, or were bootlegged by former residents. The council discussed the bill with Wood at the June 23 meeting, and learned that there was no formal appeals process for residents who didn't tamper with their sewage or hadn't updated the piping system to fit current code. The council held the bill back once again, in hopes of adding a means of appeal.

"Hopefully next time it comes up it will be in a form that will pass," said Mayor Peter Micciche.

Council member Mullen missed the meeting as well, but the council excused her.

The council also postponed a mini-grant application called Sedementation Pond De-Icer because Kenny Werth, the applicant, was absent.

City Manager Larry Semmens announced that the city's health insurance rate had gone up 7 percent, less than the 12 percent predicted. The smaller increase frees additional budget.

Council member Brenda Hartman brought up moving the Soldotna skatepark to a more visible location. The current skatepark is tucked away from the road, difficult to see from the street and suffers from poor lighting. Hartman said that a new location will cut down on graffiti and make the park more accessible to skaters.

The mayor said that he doesn't mind the graffiti as long as it isn't overly vulgar or drug related.

"Graffiti is their preferred decor," he said.

Tony Cella can be reached at

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