Kenai assisted living building plans unveiled

Help’s new home

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2005

Conceptual plans for a Kenai assisted living facility were unveiled Wednesday during the regular meeting of the Kenai City Council.

Developers of the senior citizen housing facility to be built on Redoubt Avenue said the construction cost for phase one of the project would be $4.69 million.

Initially the project would include one building with 15 separate apartments, a central common area for residents and an entry building that would house a commercial kitchen and dining room.

Phase two calls for adding a duplicate 15-apartment building on the opposite side of the dining facility, creating a V-shaped structure.

Additional phases in the project would include another V-shaped building with another kitchen and dining hall, and independent five-plex units, bringing the total number of housing units to 165, according to James McConnell, president of The Paladin Group, a development corporation based in Eagle River.

“Now we’re at a point we want input from planning and from the council,” McConnell said.

He said the assisted living facility is being developed as a 20-year development on 34 acres.

Working with Kenai Seniors Incorporated, McConnell said the projected need for senior assisted living is 12 units now and up to 20 units by 2008.

Ground breaking could come in two years, he said.

In other council business, after the Oct. 4 municipal election results were certified, Linda Swarner, Michael Boyle and Robert Molloy were sworn in as council members.

Swarner was reelected and Boyle was newly elected to three-year terms, and Molloy was elected to serve for one year of the unexpired term vacated by Pat Porter when she was elected mayor a year ago.

The council also approved on first reading an ordinance allowing members to participate in meetings telephonically up to three times in a 12-month period. If adopted at its Nov. 2 meeting, the change would go into effect Dec. 2.

Reasons for the change include allowing members to take part in meetings when work or family matters require their absence from the city.

No more than three members of the council would be allowed to participate telephonically at one time.

Thanks to a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation, the city approved a $2,043 appropriation for the purchase of a woodcarving by Kathleen Carlo to be added to the permanent collection of the Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In a letter to Mayor Porter and the council, the visitors bureau said Carlo’s work “shares a similar material and spiritual culture as our local Dena’ina Athabascan tribes.”

Carlo is an Athabascan artist from Fairbanks.

The woodcarving purchased by Kenai is titled “Ts’aa edenee,” which translates to “the only people.”

During her mayor’s report, Porter said she met with residents of the Thompson Park Subdivision to discuss street paving, and said an idea emerged for possibly passing a bond issue to complete the needed work throughout the city.

Acting city manager Chuck Kopp said the city “might look into a general obligation bond.”

“Somehow we need to answer that question — bond issue or continue having residents bring (limited improvement district proposals) to us,” said Porter.

Porter also announced she will declare Oct. 26 as “Kenai Kardinal Day,” in honor of the fourth consecutive Kenai Central High School state small schools football championship.

She appointed a number of Kenai residents to city commissions, including Bill Osborn to the Harbor Commission, Adam DeMello to Parks and Recreation, Lori Chase and Barb Nord to Planning and Zoning and Peggy Baxter to Beautification.

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