Funds coming together for road out north

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2002

An ordinance appropriating $1.25 million toward the long-awaited Kenai Spur Highway ex-tension project is on the table for Tuesday's Kenai Peninsula Bor-ough Assembly meeting.

Ordinance 2002-19-27 combines $1 million in federal funds with a $250,000 borough contribution. The borough received that money from a state grant.

Together, the funds will open the way to the first phase of the project -- doing the preliminary engineering and taking the project up through environmental approval of the extension.

In 1998, a federal grant expected to be around $5.28 million by the end of the project, was awarded to the borough. It required a 20-percent match, or $1.32 million from the borough or other sources, bringing the total cost to $6.6 million.

The project will be done in four phases, beginning with the preliminary engineering, and followed by preparation of plans, right-of-way acquisition and finally project construction.

A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for Jan. 7.

Another ordinance to be introduced Tuesday would authorize acquisition of land from the University of Alaska for a new solid waste disposal facility for Seldovia. Ordinance 2002-19-26 would appropriate $632,000 from the Land Trust Fund to purchase the land and cover closing costs.

The ordinance also gets a hearing Jan. 7.

Seldovia's current landfill is on 15 acres leased by the borough from the Seldovia Native Associa-tion since 1979.

For 20 years beginning in 1979, the borough paid $7,900 annually for the lease. Since 1999, however, the borough lease payments have risen significantly, from $26,000 in 1999 to $51,000 annually in the current lease, which expires June 30, 2004.

Now the borough is seeking a new site and has selected a university-owned parcel that could provide for suitable disposal facilities for an estimated 50 years.

The site is south of Seldovia somewhat closer to Seldovia city limits than the current landfill.

The assembly also will hold a public hearing on Ordinance 2002-39 that amends the borough's sales tax code. At least one amendment to the code embodied in the measure has drawn fire. Charter boat owners say a proposal to assess sales tax on a per-person, per-day basis is unfair. The hearing will include teleconference testimony from Seward and Homer.

Also up for a public hearing is Ordinance 2002-19-25, which would accept and appropriate $73,550 in state funds from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development to the Cook Inlet Salmon Branding Program.

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