Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly members roll their sleeves up this morning, with a 10 a.m. review of the borough's spruce bark beetle program. The program's progress was questioned by assembly members at the Aug. 21 meeting.
Ron Long, of Seward, compared the amount of time taken for planning with the delay of dead tree removal. The Kenai Lake Fire claimed more than 3,000 acres in Long's district this summer.
As a result of lessons learned during the Kenai Lake Fire and the Mystery Creek Fire, the borough requested federal funding to improve emergency response capabilities. A request for $750,000 was included in a supplemental appropriations act, which received approval by Congress and was signed into law by President Bush.
According to Jan Henry, emergency management coordinator for the borough, $250,000 is designated for a mobile communications vehicle and $500,000 will go to communication upgrades.
A resolution officially accepting the $750,000 and appropriating it to the borough's Office of Emergency Management is scheduled for introduction this evening.
Also set for introduction is an ordinance authorizing the sale of 27 parcels of borough land at an Oct. 20 outcry auction. The parcels are located in Nikiski, Kenai, Kalifornsky Beach, Cohoe and Kasilof, Tote Road and Cooper Landing. They range in size from 1.49 acres to 115 acres.
The borough's assessing department has established a fair market value. The minimum bid for a 2.5-acre Kenai parcel is listed at $12,600, while the minimum bid for a 40.52-acre parcel also located in Kenai is $425,000. Other parcels fall between those amounts, with several yet to be determined.
"Parcels that do not sell at the outcry public action are proposed to be offered over-the-counter," wrote Roy Dudley, land management agent for the borough, in an accompanying memo.
Borough Mayor Dale Bagley and assembly member Pete Sprague, of Soldotna, have authored a resolution urging the state of Alaska to upgrade and pave Jones (Stub) Road and to improve its intersection with Gas Well Road. These improvements address an increase in traffic anticipated by the 113-lot subdivision currently under development by Clint Hall, of Hall Quality Builders.
"The K-Beach area is growing," Sprague said. "Jones Stub needs to be upgraded and paved to handle the traffic and this is a good time to get the ball rolling with the state."
Borough road maintenance also is on Tuesday's agenda. Bagley is requesting authorization to award contracts to Witt Enterprises, Metco Inc. and Peninsula Excavating for the Hope, Seward and Moose Pass areas, respectively.
Assembly members Bill Popp and Tim Navarre, both of Kenai, and Grace Merkes, of Sterling, have prepared an ordinance for introduction requesting a $250,000 appropriation for the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council.
According to the accompanying memo, the money will be used to provide a public review of non-tank vessel contingency plans for ships on Cook Inlet, mapping of the inlet and other peninsula shoreline and monitoring of potential contaminants.
Following this morning's 10 a.m. work session, assembly committee meetings begin at 1 p.m., with the regular assembly convening at 7 p.m. at the Borough Administration Building in Soldotna.
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