Dipnet fees fill Kenai city coffers

Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2005


  Fish caught with dipnets in the Kenai River fill a wheelbarrow at the Fenton residence in Kenai last month. Money from the fishery helped fill the city of Kenai's coffers. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Fish caught with dipnets in the Kenai River fill a wheelbarrow at the Fenton residence in Kenai last month. Money from the fishery helped fill the city of Kenai's coffers.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

As the popularity of salmon dipnet fishing continues to grow in Kenai, the city’s coffers from the resource are netting more and more money each year.

“Dipnet revenues were up,” Chuck Kopp, acting city manager, told the Kenai City Council on last week.

Total revenue for the three-week personal-use fishery were $173,464 this year, up from $169,952 a year ago.

Kopp said final expenditure figures for the activity will not be available until the end of the month. Expenses include staffing booths in the fishery entrances at south beach, north beach and at the city dock, portable toilet rentals, rule enforcement, beach cleanup and miscellaneous administrative costs.

Expenses last year totaled $69,123, leaving the city with a net income of $100,829 from the fishery.

During the meeting Wednesday night, the council also approved an ordinance allowing seasonal and temporary food service in the conservation zone near the dipnet fishery at the north beach.

Food sales of such items as hot dogs and hamburgers would be allowed there on a limited basis during the summer.

Toward the end of the council meeting, Vice Mayor Joe Moore urged the council to schedule a special session to formulate an overall plan for the dipnet resource.

In other business, the council approved a draft agreement naming the multipurpose facility the “ConocoPhillips/City of Kenai Multipurpose Facility.”

The agreement allows ConocoPhillips to install an indoor advertising sign, a lighted outdoor wall sign and an indirectly lighted ground sign at the facility.

The oil company will pay the city $5,000 per year over the three-year term of the proposed contract.

The council also agreed to assign and release leases from Capital Crossing Bank to MITAK LLC, a Kansas firm, for the Katmai Motel properties.

By doing so, the city “lets the bank out of the chain,” Kopp told council members, meaning the sale of the motel to its new owner can go forward.

On a motion by council member Rick Ross, the council unanimously approved awarding bids for an airport pickup truck, two police cars, a building maintenance van and a water and sewer truck.

The pickup and police cars will be purchased from Great Bear Ford and the van and truck will come from Hutchings Chevrolet Cadillac Inc.

An ordinance was approved increasing revenues and appropriations by $6,512 for donations made to the Officer John Watson Memorial Fund to be used for the town clock.

The clock, seen by Mayor Pat Porter as establishing an actual center of the city of Kenai, will be erected in Leif Hansen Memorial Park.

Kopp told the council the clock is expected to arrive in Kenai by the end of October.

The city council also approved an ordinance allowing retail businesses such as gift shops and coffee shops to operate in the city’s education zone.

The education zone in-cludes schools, museums, parks and recreation areas and government buildings. Ross said the locations would include Kenai Central High School, the Challenger Learning Center and the multipurpose facility.

The council gave its OK to paving Set Net Drive between VIP Drive and Watergate Way at an estimated cost of $200,000, and approved the preliminary plat of the Eagle Bluff Subdivision comprising 17 building lots, described by Kopp as “champagne properties,” south of the Kenai Golf Course.

The plat approval is contingent upon determining the land is not in an outdoor recreation restriction area.

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