Soldotna wants to know what its residents want to do with the city's newest park.
The city is distributing surveys on its Web site and at city hall, hoping to get a consensus as to what area residents think is the most appropriate use for Soldotna Creek Park, which the city officially took over from the state in 2003.
"I see this as an item the community is going to want to strongly be involved in," Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey said during Wednesday's regular city council meeting.
Carey told the council that more than 100 surveys already had been completed and the city plans to continue collecting surveys through September. After that, he said he plans to form a special task force to look at the surveys and come up with recommendations for the 8.1-acre park, which overlooks the Kenai River in downtown Soldotna.
"Hopefully, by January, this task force will present some options to the council," Carey said.
Some issues the task force will have to face include whether to allow fishing at the site, what kind of events should be allowed at the park and how the area should be landscaped.
On Wednesday, Carey said he believes the park is an important piece of public real estate and that the people who will be using the park should have plenty of time to comment on any future plans.
"I want to give the community a good amount of time to provide input," he said.
Carey said he is excited about the public process that's being used to determine how the park is used and has found many of the ideas generated by the city's survey to be quite good.
"It's a lot of fun listening to all the ideas," he said.
In other action Wednesday, the city council:
n Passed a resolution awarding a contract for street landscaping in two neighborhoods the so-called "Flower Streets" and Golf Acres that were paved earlier this year. The landscaping is the final portion of the projects, which were paid for jointly by the city and neighborhood residents.
n Heard a report from City Manager Tom Boedeker on the status of the new refrigeration system being installed at the Soldotna Sports Center. Boedeker told the council that the project is going according to plan and that he's confident the system will be up and running when the 2004-05 ice season begins.
"The project is wrapping up," he told the council.
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