Taking the mayor's precautionary warnings under advisement, the Soldotna City Council nonetheless directed city administration to pursue annexation efforts as far off Kalifornsky Beach Road as Highcrest and Tagala avenues.
The council had considered several options for bringing increased acreage into the city limits including setting the boundary along Francis Helen Ave., expanding it to Clarence Drive-Base Road, expanding it to Tagala Ave.-Highcrest Ave. or reducing the boundary to Damon Ave., but extending the south boundary to take in the Jehovah's Witness and Cook Inlet Academy properties.
"The (farther) we get from K-Beach, the more complaints we'll get," said Mayor Dave Carey. "We should anticipate we'll hear some opposition," he said, explaining that people who have lived in the affected area longer would be more likely to object to having their property annexed into the city.
Carey said he expects more recent arrivals would favor annexation to take advantage of city water and sewer utility services.
City Manager Tom Boedeker told the council the city will need to conduct two public hearings before submitting an application for annexation to the state Local Boundary Commission. The commission, in considering the application, would conduct additional public hearings to ensure all impacted property owners are aware of any plans to annex.
The original boundary up to Frances Helen Ave. would have split a subdivision leaving one part outside Soldotna city limits and bringing the other part into the city.
A proposal to extend the boundary to Clarence Drive and Base Road resulted in dividing some individual properties similarly.
When asked by Councilwoman Betty Obendorf what the drawbacks to the expanded area were, Boedeker said it would bring additional roadways into the city for maintenance.
Councilman Ed Sleater asked if the city has received any feedback from residents. Boedeker said the city had not.
"The logical boundary would be the section line ... take in Highcrest and Tagala," said Councilman Shane Horan.
That recommendation was approved unanimously by the four council members present. Jim Stogsdill and Jane Stein were absent.
In other business, the council:
* Approved extending a snow removal contract for one year with Alaska Sure Seal to clear snow from city building parking lots and sidewalks;
* Approved job descriptions for a new city position of building inspector and for a combined police officer position, rolling recruit, police officer 1 and police officer 2 into one job description; and
* Established a limited commercial zoning plan for a 1.7 acre parcel of land in the Derkevorkian Subdivision recently annexed by the city.
Phil Hermanek can be reached at email@example.com.
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