Council gets look at airport fire station

Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2000

The Kenai City Council got its first look at the new fire station and warm storage building that will soon be at the Kenai Municipal Airport.

The structure is designed with multiple purposes in mind and will serve as the garage for the airport fire engine, sleeping quarters for its crew, and as a storage building for snow clearing machines and sand.

Matthew Vogel, an architect with the Anchorage firm RIM Architects, presented the conceptual drawing of the building to the council Wednesday night.

The building has multiple roof lines, with a combination of arched, sloped and flat surfaces. Council member Linda Swarner expressed concern over the ability of the building to stand up to snow and rain.

"We've spent a lot of money on flat roofs at the fire station, library and airport," she said.

Vogel said the flat portion of the roof is an exposed membrane type, which drains through the roof into the drain system.

"We haven't had any problems with this kind of roof," he said.

He added that the roof was designed in such a way to avoid line of sight problems for people in the nearby control tower.

"The curved design is the maximum height," he said. "A peaked roof would be too high."

He also said the building is designed to accommodate the weight of drifting snow.

"We don't expect any problems with leaks," Vogel said.

The building also will house the airport operations office and a washing bay to clean airport vehicles.

The cost is estimated at $4.2 million, with the city paying 6 1/4 percent. The rest of the funds will come from the Federal Aviation Admin-istration.

Ground work at the site was done this year, and if all goes well, construction should begin in the spring.

In other council news:

n Mayor John Williams asked for a moment of silence before the meeting to honor John Monfor Jr., who died Sept. 28. Williams described Monfor as someone who had done many things for the community of Kenai.

n Williams congratulated council members Bill Frazer and Pat Porter for their successful re-election bids, as well as John Osborne for his campaign to be elected.

n Dwight Perkins, deputy commissioner for the Alaska Depart-ment of Labor and Workforce Development, presented the city with the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Pro-gram award.

n The council heard a presentation by the Cook Inlet Lions Drag Racing Division about using the floatplane basin for snowmachine drag races this winter.

Frazer said he was impressed with how well the Lions handled its first season of automobile drag races at the Soldotna airport this summer. Porter said she thought it was a good idea and pointed out that despite prior publicity, there was nobody from the general public at the meeting to protest the Lions' request.

Williams said it seemed there was support from the council and directed the city manager and the Lions to draft an agreement and bring it back before the council as a conditional-use permit request.

n Porter said she thought the roof-raising at the Kenai Senior Citizens Center carport looked good, though Swarner said she felt like the contractor had not done the job in a timely manner. City Engineer Jack LaShot said the job was being done inside a specified window of time, and the company, Sterchi Construction of Kaliforn-sky Beach Road, had not run over. Swarner said she did not want to see places torn up like the senior center at sites of future contracts.

n Swarner said she will present the carpet color choices for the remodeling of the airport terminal at the next council meeting.

n Williams announced the resignation from the Airport Commission of Chris Copple and assigned that seat to Sean O'Reilly, who recently was appointed to the Harbor Commission. O'Reilly's seat on the Harbor Commission was filled by the appointment of Raymond A. Price.

n The council approved the termination of lease request by Jeb Hansen of Alaska Wild Fin, the airport gift shop. City Manager Rick Ross said Hansen was current with his taxes, but two months behind on rent.

"Our take is: cancel the lease and move on to other uses for that site," Ross said.

He said there were no current applications from anyone interested in the space.

n Williams reported that the money the city requested from the federal government to design the proposed coastal trail and bluff erosion control wall along the Kenai waterfront had been turned down. The mayor said that in discussions with staff members of the state's Washington, D.C., delegation, their major concern was there was not enough support for the project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other regulatory agencies.

The next council meeting will not be on the third Wednesday of this month because of Alaska Day. Instead, the council will meet the next night, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m.

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