Salt, cemetery keep Soldotna council busy

Posted: Friday, August 26, 2005

As sure as the geese head south, leaves turn golden and mushrooms pop up all around the central Kenai Peninsula this time of year, the city of Soldotna also must deal with official business indicating Ol’ Man Winter isn’t far off.

The city council, on Wed-nesday approved Resolution 2005-051 authorizing the purchase of road salt and urea “to be applied to city streets during slick winter conditions.”

At the recommendation of the city’s maintenance manager and Public Works director, the council gave its OK to purchasing $18,235 worth of salt and urea from UNIVAR, USA.

In less impending business, the council once again postponed action on a proposed land swap with the Kenai Peninsula Borough to acquire a 10-acre parcel on West Redoubt Avenue for a city cemetery.

After hearing testimony from nine people for and against the proposed cemetery, and after learning that land being offered by the city in the exchange remains encumbered with restrictions, Council member M. Scott McLane asked that the matter be postponed.

Six of the people who spoke during a public comment portion of the council meeting said they were in favor of a cemetery being built at the Redoubt Avenue site, and three people expressed opposition.

Earlier this month, the borough assembly approved trading the property for a 17-acre parcel of land the city owns along the Sterling Highway with 1,950 feet of shoreline on Arc Lake.

City Manager Tom Boedeker told the council he is continuing to work to have a recreational use restriction re-moved from the Arc Lake property before it is conveyed to the borough.

On a 3 to 2 vote, the procedural motion to postpone action was approved. Measures considered to be action by the council require a four-person plurality, according to Mayor Dave Carey. Procedural motions require a simple majority of voting council members.

In other business, the council set an ordinance for a public hearing Sept. 14, which would appropriate three grants from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities for additional police patrols for drunk drivers.

During Police Chief John Lucking Jr.’s report to the council he said police have been working closely with owners of Peninsula Center Mall to curb problems involving several juveniles skate boarding in and around the mall.

Lucking also invited council members and the public to schedule tours of the police station to learn about facilities and equipment being used by police.

The council awarded a $205,823 contract to Peninsula Construction Inc. for water and sewer mainline construction along Kalifornsky Beach Road from Endicott Drive to just west of Peninsula Fish Processing.

Boedeker told council members the work would be done by the end of this fall.

Public Works Director Steve Bonebrake said his department would look into traffic control device needs in the Farnsworth Park neighborhood after receiving a report of unsafe activity in the area, particularly at the intersection of Farnsworth Boulevard and Cohoe Avenue.

In other season-related business, Parks and Recreation Director Andrew Car-michael said he would set up a tour of the parks for council members before the snow flies, so they can see what work will be needed prior to next camping and recreation season.

He said when the council is considering next year’s budget, the parks will be under snow and ice, and the needs will not be as obvious.

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