Festival moving closer to river

Posted: Friday, August 25, 2006

Organizers of the Kenai River Festival think the yearly event should be conducted along the Kenai River.

With that in mind, the Kenai Watershed Forum has reserved Soldotna Creek Park for June 9 and 10 next year — the 17th year of the annual fest.

“Originally the idea was to flip flop between one year in Kenai and one year in Soldotna,” said Josselyn Burke, forum representative, during the Soldotna City Council meeting Wednesday.

“The last six years it’s been in Kenai. The problem is the Green Strip is not on the river,” she said.

“We researched a couple ideas and think we’ve found a good site right here in Soldotna,” Burke said.

She said the reason behind the festival is to teach children about reasons the Kenai River should be protected environmentally.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea to bring the Kenai River Festival to the Kenai River,” said council member Lisa Parker.

Mayor Dave Carey thanked Burke and invited her to move forward with plans for the festival in Soldotna next summer.

In other business, the council set a public hearing for Sept. 13 on an ordinance setting philosophical goals to guide the Planning and Zoning Commission as it writes a sign code.

The measure allows businesses to have “equal and fair opportunity” to advertise their businesses, while protecting property values in the city and promoting health, safety and welfare.

At some time in the future, a new sign code would specifically regulate the size and height of signs, the positioning of signs in relation to property lines and the placement of free-standing signs near businesses.

The council also awarded a $181,469 contract to Peninsula Construction Inc. for water and sewer improvements along States Avenue, which runs between Soldotna Creek Park and Hutchings Chevrolet.

City Manager Tom Boedeker said earlier, the project brings water and sewer to the vicinity of the Soldotna “Y.” Currently businesses along the southeast side of the Sterling Highway connect to a water main across the road on the same side as the Chevron service station.

The new main would enhance fire protection, he said.

Boedeker told the council the project also includes water service lines to Soldotna Creek Park for restrooms that may be built there in the future.

Soldotna Police Chief John Lucking Jr. told council members that police apprehended juvenile suspects in connection with vandalism on Vine Street reported by council member Jane Stein at the last council meeting.

“We caught the little culprits ... . They’ve been charged,” Lucking said.

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