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Kenai wants all to be counted

Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The United States census is still more than 1 1/2 years away, but the city of Kenai already is seeking everyone's participation.

Because the official census determines the apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and establishes district boundaries for state and local government, the Kenai City Council tonight is slated to consider a resolution asking for the community's support.

Required by the U.S. Constitution every 10 years, the census also is the basis for allocating billions of dollars in federal, state and local funding for health care, community development, housing, education, transportation, social services and employment, according to the proposed resolution.

City Attorney Cary Graves, who will substitute for City Manager Rick Koch at tonight's meeting, said Tuesday, supporting the census is "pretty standard."

"Some feel we were under-counted (in the last census)," he said. "There are some benefits to having larger numbers."

Census day is April 1, 2010.

The council also is scheduled to consider a resolution supporting a feasibility study of a domed sports facility in the central Kenai Peninsula.

Graves said the city is not necessarily seeking to have a sports dome built in Kenai.

"The intent is to study all the issues," he said.

Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey is working with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the borough assembly to consider building a domed sports facility near the Soldotna Sports Center.

Although no action is planned for tonight's meeting on the subject of a Kenai River drift boat pullout, the council is scheduled to introduce Ordinance 2337-2008, which would appropriate $500,000 for the project. A public hearing is planned Aug. 20.

Graves said he is not aware of any specific location being selected for the pullout.

The council is scheduled to consider Ordinance 2334-2008, establishing a cemetery advisory committee to assist in the planning and development of an addition to the existing city cemetery.

The addition would be on three city-owned parcels across Float Plane Road from the cemetery. Each parcel is 1.25 acres.

The citizen advisors would be commissioned for two years, Graves said.

A special assessment district to pave Ames Road is up for discussion at tonight's meeting, as well.

Because two large properties are on one side of the road and 17 small lots are on the other, two property owners would be asked to pay 50 percent of the assessments for the project.

Koch has asked the council to consider a substitute resolution at tonight's meeting that would divide the costs more equitably among the property owners.

The council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.



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