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Search on for Kenai manager

Council approves clearing for soccer fields, accepts state grants

Posted: Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Kenai City Council was informed Wednesday its next meeting packet will include a proposed search procedure for a city manager to replace Linda Snow, whose contract was not renewed in July.

Snow's contract expired July 16. Kenai Police Chief Chuck Kopp is serving as interim city manager.

In a memo to council members, Kopp said he has reviewed two previous manager search processes conducted by the council and would take a similar approach unless directed otherwise.

The process would include a schedule for advertising, resume collection and review, background investigation, interviews and final selection.

Once the council approves the procedure, advertising for the city manager job will begin Sept. 1.

During the regular council meeting, members approved a special-use permit for the Rotary Club of Kenai to clear brush and level a parcel of city land near the Kenai Peninsula Soccer Club playing fields on Frontage Road.

The excavation will be done as part of Rotary's "Big Tonkas on the Bluff" program during Industry Appreciation Day on Aug. 27.

The program is a vocational activity that allows children to experience full-size heavy machinery in a work environment.

A planned side benefit this year will prepare additional playing fields for the soccer club, according to the Rotary Club.

The council also received word that the city has been awarded two state grants: $290,000 for public improvements and $790,000 for road and sewer improvements.

The council decided to conduct a work session to pin down which infrastructure needs would be met with the state funds.

Kopp asked for direction from the council as to what the city's priorities should be and recommended the focus be on public buildings, parking lot resurfacing and improvements to high-use roads within the city.

A work session was set for 6 p.m. Aug. 16. Residents from three subdivisions that previously sought road improvements were to be informed of the work session, the council said.

In other business, Kopp told the council the Department of Fish and Game asked if the city would like to extend dipnetting by one additional week next year.

Kopp also said he met with newly appointed Kenai Fire Chief Michael Tilly and the city's finance director, Larry Semmens, and decided Assistant Chief James Baisden would add the duties of fire marshal to his new position, eliminating the need to appoint someone.

A battalion chief position is being reactivated to incorporate the duties of training officer for the fire department, while increasing the ability to adequately cover all shifts with a high-ranking fire officer.

Kopp reported to the council that a Kansas City-based firm is planning to buy the closed Katmai Motel.

City Clerk Carol Freas told the council filing dates are open until Aug. 15 for people wishing to run for three city council seats coming open this year.

The terms of Linda Swarner, Blaine Gilman and Jim Butler end this year.

Gilman announced he will not seek re-election.

During the mayor's report, Pat Porter said "Exploring Alaska" producer Paul Gray would like to make a presentation to the council during September, promoting a new show, "Exploring Kenai."

The show, which would focus on Kenai, would be a marketing venture seeking commercial sponsors that would like to be featured at a one-time cost of $1,250 per minute.

The Kenai segment would be shown in the Alaska show viewed nationwide, in Europe and in North Africa.



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