Soldotna council to discuss future of Arc Lake

Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The city of Soldotna is providing residents with one more opportunity to comment on efforts to eradicate invasive northern pike from Arc Lake, and the mayor hopes to learn what city council members would like to do with the recreational lake down the road.

A fisheries biologist from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game presented a pike eradication plan to the council in July saying the department was seeking public input on the plan as a requirement for receiving federal permission to treat the lake with rotenone.

Although the required 30-day public comment period has closed, Mayor Dave Carey said he would like the public to have one more opportunity to comment.

The biologist said rotenone treatment would be done in October and the lake would likely be restocked with silver salmon following successful elimination of the pike. He said rotenone, which blocks the cellular respiration of fish through their gills, is not harmful to mammals or plants.

Carey also would like the council to discuss its future vision for Arc Lake, which is alongside the Sterling Highway near the Kenai Peninsula Borough landfill.

Because the lake actually sits outside Soldotna city limits, Carey said he would like to know if the council wants to retain possession of it or possibly trade it with some other entity, such as the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

"It's just a discussion to see what the council wants to do," Carey said of the listed item on tonight's council agenda.

The council also is slated to consider moving a Federal Aviation Administration building from Anchorage to the Soldotna Municipal Airport to house an automated weather system and city electrical equipment.

The FAA building would be transported to Soldotna and set up at a cost of $126,486, 95 percent of which would be funded by the FAA, 2.5 percent by the state and 2.5 percent by the city.

The job description of the city's librarian is up for revision during the council meeting. Carey said the job has not been changed in 20 years. The goal is to make it more consistent with other similar level city positions, he said, and the new description would give the city manager the ability to consider work experience in place of a college degree as qualification for the position.

Carey said proposed acceptance of a $25,000 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant would fund an extension of the fish walk and trail along the Kenai River at Centennial Campground.

The council meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.



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