Candidate Views: Kenai City Council, 1-year term: Eldridge: Quality must not change

Kenai City Council One-year term

Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2006

Kenai is a city I have grown to love, I have been able to serve the community in a number of areas on the Harbor Commission, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Kenai Economic Development Strategy team and in various other community service clubs and other organizations.

There are three areas that I see looming as immediate opportunities for the city. Kenai is at an exciting point as new economic development is bursting forth with Wal-Mart and Lowe’s coming to town and other retailers looking for land in Kenai.

New office buildings are being built and old buildings finding new tenants. Kenai is also experiencing new interest at the airport as runway and taxiway improvements are being made.

As these developments take place the city needs to insure that the quality of life in Kenai is not adversely impacted.

The bluff erosion and Kenai Coastal Trail project needs to be put on the front burner before we lose our Senior Center over the bluff.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a million dollars that they are using over the past 3 years to conduct environmental and sedimentation studies. They are continuing to work on ground water seepage studies and soon we hope to be a permitting and design stage.

The Corps does not see a cost/benefit ratio that will allow them to do this project unless designated funds are used.

I would urge the city to seed funding of 3 to 4 million a year over 5 years and get the project started. The first phase should be to place armor rock at the toe of the bluff from Pacific Star to the creek beyond the Senior Center. And Vintage Pointe to stop any further erosion, Phase 2 should continue the armor rock to No Name creek by Scout Park. Phase 3 and 4 would be to contour the slope of the bluff and take care of the groundwater seepage and plant or seed the bluff. Phase 5 would be to construct the Kenai Coastal Trail on top of the armor rock along the riverfront connecting with the Bridge Access Bike trail.

This brings us to the third area of emphasis which is to have the city pressure Alaska DOT to complete the Bridge Access Bike Trail which has been delayed for the past 5 years while they look at environmental issues, and also to provide a Bike Trail along K-Beach Road from Bridge Access to Cannery Road as they upgrade that section of the road.

We also need to improve our sidewalks in the city and provide sidewalks where there are none at present. The city needs to look at other places in the downtown where more bike trails might be considered, especially along the creek drainages from Airport Way to Coastal Trail and Woodland to Municipal Park.

There are other issues that I am concerned about including getting paving projects moving to reduce or eliminate the number of unpaved roads in our city.

All of these projects will require good relationships with our legislators both at State and Federal levels and their cooperation in moving these projects forward.

This is an exciting time to live in Kenai, I would love to serve you as your councilman and would appreciate your vote on October 3rd.

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