New Kenai River Center Opens

Posted: Friday, September 15, 2000

SOLDOTNA (AP) -- A new $2 million Kenai River Center was dedicated Thursday, along with a library named for former Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Don Gilman.

The Kenai River Center, which previously occupied a site on the Kenai Spur Highway in Soldotna, provides one-stop shopping for people seeking permits and information for development along the river. The Kenai Peninsula Borough, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game maintain offices there.

''They've put together a joint permit application, so an application can go from agency to agency rather that someone having to fill out an application for each agency,'' said Bonnie Golden, assistant to Dale Bagley, the borough mayor.

Money for the new building came from a $1.75 million state grant and a $171,000 appropriation from the borough.

John Mahorcich, a borough resource planner who works at the center, said the borough has obtained a $100,000 grant from the Environmental Protection agency to cover the center's operating and maintenance costs for two years. The Kenai River Sportfishing Association donated $10,000 to help open the river center library. Golden said that will be dedicated to Gilman to recognize his efforts to protect the river.

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