Kenai Bluff erosion stays the Metropolis of Kenai’s high capital precedence heading into the upcoming fiscal yr. That’s per debate and approval over the town’s five-year capital plan by members of the Kenai Metropolis Council through the physique’s March 16 assembly. Capital tasks check with these tasks that sometimes require a one-time expenditure of greater than $35,000 and which have a usable lifetime of longer than one yr.
Town’s Capital Enchancment Plan outlines capital tasks the town will prioritize in upcoming fiscal years. First on the checklist for the following two years is Kenai Bluff Stabilization. Whereas the plan doesn’t checklist tasks so as of precedence, Kenai Metropolis Council members made clear Wednesday that the challenge is on the high of their checklist.
The bluff is presently receding at a charge of about 3 ft per yr, with the tentative stabilization plan to assemble a berm on the toe of the bluff, per a advice from the Military Corps of Engineers. The whole challenge price might be cut up between the federal authorities, which can pay 65%, and the Metropolis of Kenai, which can pay 35%.
Kenai Metropolis Supervisor Paul Ostrander outlined how an inflow of federal and state money will assist make the challenge a actuality.
The Corps estimates that design and building of the challenge will price round $42 million, however Ostrander mentioned he thinks the ultimate complete might be a lot decrease. Utilizing a projected complete challenge price of $35 million, the Metropolis of Kenai would contribute about $2.55 million to the challenge.
The remaining $32,450,000 of the whole challenge price would come from grants. Gov. Mike Dunleavy has included as a part of his proposed fiscal yr 2023 finances for the state $6.5 million for the challenge. Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski secured an extra $28 million for the challenge via the federal Infrastructure Funding and Jobs Act.
Nonetheless, the challenge is just one aspect of the town’s five-year plan, which was developed by the town’s public works division with enter from Kenai’s commissions and committees. The Kenai Harbor Fee, for instance, reviewed the plan and requested that dredging of the Kenai River be included within the plan for fiscal yr 2025. Town’s parks and recreation fee beneficial transferring the substitute of the town’s softball shelters and dugouts to the upcoming fiscal yr.
Tasks described within the metropolis’s plan for the upcoming fiscal yr embrace, along with bluff erosion, the rehabilitation of Willow Road and repairs to lighting alongside Lilac Road. Restore to a failed stormwater line on Aliak Drive and designs for the restore of runways on the Kenai Municipal Airport are additionally included.
Adoption of the plan doesn’t allocate funds for tasks, however slightly permits metropolis directors to construct the town’s finances round what tasks it desires to prioritize, Kenai Finance Director Terry Eubank advised council members Wednesday.
Council members clashed Wednesday over how a lot precedence must be given to the design and building of a lighted Nordic path system on the Kenai Municipal Golf Course. In all, the challenge is estimated to price $200,000 and is contingent on the award of grant funds.
Kenai Vice Mayor Jim Glendening proposed bumping the challenge from fiscal yr 2023 to fiscal yr 2024 in mild of present debate within the U.S. Congress about daylight saving time. The U.S. Senate voted final week to make daylight saving everlasting beginning in 2023. That laws should nonetheless be handed within the U.S. Home of Representatives after which signed by President Joe Biden.
“That would add another hour of daylight to the Nordic trail and perhaps the lighting might not be necessary,” Glendening mentioned.
Council member Teea Winger mentioned she picks her children up from faculty daily at 4 o’clock and that “all the skiers are returned to the shack during the daylight hours.” Winger mentioned she would help the challenge if it was funded by grants and questioned whether or not it was “fiscally conservative” for taxpayers.
Ostrander said a number of instances that the challenge would solely be constructed if grant funds had been acquired and described the challenge’s inclusion within the plan as a “placeholder” that enables the town to pursue grant funds within the upcoming fiscal yr. Within the occasion grant funds don’t turn into out there, the challenge would roll into the next yr, he mentioned.
“If we don’t receive grant funding, that project won’t happen,” Ostrander mentioned. “It’s entirely dependent on grant funding.”
The council in the end voted 4-3 to go away the Nordic path lighting the place it was initially within the plan. The ultimate plan was authorised unanimously by council members. Town council’s full assembly will be streamed on the Metropolis of Kenai’s YouTube channel.
Attain reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at email@example.com.