Lawrence Brackett and his wife Debra, third from left, admire the view from the bluff in Soldotna Creek Park Tuesday afternoon with Lawrence's parents Ellen, right, and Fletcher Bleak of Rifle, Colo. The Soldotna city council is considering changes to the park tonight.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The need for permanent rest-room facilities at Soldotna Creek Park is indisputable, a covered pavilion is probable and other than that, the city is open for suggestions on how to improve the large city park overlooking the Kenai River.
With that in mind, the Soldotna City Council is expected to consider awarding a $19,300 conceptual design contract tonight to Casey Planning and Design to produce an overall plan for the increasingly popular park.
"We're taking information gathered from people over the years," said City Manager Tom Boedeker, in setting a design firm in place on the project.
Among ideas that have come forward in addition to a covered pavilion are a veterans' memorial, flower gardens and an arboretum, Boedeker said.
"We're looking at something that will be functional as a big gathering spot for large groups or families, and something that can be done as the money's available," he said.
He also said once the city has a design plan in place, a limited amount of grant money might be available for development.
The park recently became the new location of Soldotna's Progress Days celebration, and was the site of the Kenai River Festival earlier this year.
The city council also will be asked to approve a temporary employment agreement with Richard Bucy, who has been selected by Boedeker to be his assistant city manager for 18 months, bridging the period between Boedeker's anticipated retirement and the selection of a new city manager. Bucy is a former marketing manager for Tesoro and former Fred Meyer store manager.
Also on tonight's agenda is the appointment by the mayor of seven people to the resurrected Cemetery Task Force, which will be asked to identify a suitable site for a Soldotna city cemetery.
On Mayor Dave Carey's list of appointees are Lisa Parker and Jim Fassler, who will chair the group; Betty Obendorf, the city council representative on the task force; and Nancy Eoff, Ryan Mills, Kenai Peninsula Borough Assemblyman Pete Sprague and Tina Taylor.
In order to meet the lowest bid on Ridgewood Drive and Diane Lane street improvements, the city council will be asked whether to appropriate an additional $172,567. Boedeker said property owners also would need to kick in about $3,500 more than the previous assessment amount of $8,500 per lot.
"I will be asking the council if we should go forward if we get a significant number of objections from the property owners," he said. Twenty-one parcels are involved.
The street improvements include paving, some roll-curb gutters and rerouting a storm drain in order to connect it to the Knight Drive storm drain.
Bob Pope is slated to give the council a presentation on a future pioneers' home during the public comment and presentation portion of the meeting. Boedeker said he is unaware of the content of Pope's proposal.
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