Games left lasting legacy

Posted: Monday, November 27, 2006

The Arctic Winter Games brought several million dollars worth of “legacy” improvements to the Kenai Peninsula.

Dale Bagley, president of the AWG 2006 Host Society and former borough mayor, listed several of those projects that will benefit local residents for years to come:

· The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District got $1.74 million for 22 activity buses, each capable of seating 32 and equipped with wheelchair lifts. The buses were used during the Games and then distributed to schools. Source: Federal Transit Authority grant plus local match.

· The school district got $302,000 cash from federal Housing and Urban Development grant for housing costs.

· Tsalteshi Trail System got $170,000 in cash plus significant in-kind services and materials for trails improvements through several grants (HUD, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Homer Electric Association, MRO Sales and ASRC Energy Services).

· The city of Soldotna got $95,000 cash for a new scoreboard and street-side reader board for the Soldotna Sports Center, though a HUD sports facilities grant.

· The city of Kenai got $200,000 cash for general improvements to the Kenai ice rink facility, including new bleachers and radiant heaters, through a federal HUD grant.

· The city of Homer got more than $800,000 in cash to provide icing equipment and access improvements to the new $2 million Homer Hockey Rink. Improvements included installation of the stoplight at Lake Street and the Homer Bypass intersection. All that came through federal HUD sports facilities and federal DOT grants.

· The borough got more than $400,000 in sports, medical, communications, computer and Internet-related equipment, plus miscellaneous office equipment that will be distributed to local youth and community groups and organizations. That came through HUD grants.

Bagley said funding for the legacy projects totaled about $3.7 million. He said Sen. Ted Stevens originally authored all the federal grants, while Rep. Mike Chenault and Sen. Tom Wagoner sponsored the state grants.

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