Soldotna City Council members are pictured on Thursday at Soldotna City Hall. The council voted to postpone a resolution that would authorize the city manager to submit a petition to annex to the state’s Local Boundary Commission. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna City Council members are pictured on Thursday at Soldotna City Hall. The council voted to postpone a resolution that would authorize the city manager to submit a petition to annex to the state’s Local Boundary Commission. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Annexation vote postponed

The vote was on a resolution to submit Soldotna’s annexation petition to Local Boundary Commission.

The City of Soldotna postponed its efforts to annex about 4 square miles of land near its boundaries.

The Soldotna City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to postpone a resolution to submit their annexation petition to the Local Boundary Commission, the state entity created through the Alaska Constitution that grants authority to create and alter municipalities and their boundaries.

City Manager Stephanie Queen said several possible amendments to the petition were brought to the administration, and more time would be needed to implement any potential amendments. The resolution was also postponed to allow for a full council to vote, since council member Lisa Parker was absent from Thursday’s meeting.

“I know there’s a lot of emotion in here, but we’re listening,” council member Tim Cashman told the audience.

In June 2018, the Soldotna City Council passed a resolution to start drafting a petition to annex seven areas adjacent to the city limits.

Tyson Cox, a Soldotna City Council member who also owns property in an area slated for annexation, did not participate in Thursday’s council vote due to a conflict of interest.

In the petition, the city said it’s hoping to annex nearby areas as a way to respond to growth and development and to more accurately align the city’s corporate boundaries with the community that has developed since the city’s incorporation in 1960.

Through annexation, Soldotna will have the opportunity to glean millions in tax revenue from additional businesses and residents.

Soldotna said annexation could benefit residents by giving them a voice in city government and lowering property tax rates. Residents in Soldotna pay 8.06 mills, or 0.9 mills less than the tax rate paid by borough residents (8.96 mills) within the territory proposed for annexation, according to the petition.

Residents being annexed would also have access to city services, including parks and recreation, a library, animal control, water and waste water utilities, comprehensive zoning, economic development incentives, local police protection and building code review and inspections for commercial and residential construction.

Residents in the territory have said they would like to vote on the matter. State law allows municipalities to expand their boundaries through the legislative review process or through voter approval. The legislative process requires municipalities to send a petition to the Local Boundary Commission, and from there the Local Boundary Commission may present proposed changes to the Legislature during the first 10 days of any regular session. Unless the recommendation is denied, any changes will be approved 45 days after the initial presentation or at the end of the session, whichever comes first.

More in News

COVID-19. (Image courtesy the CDC)
49 new COVID-19 cases reported

Seven of the new resident cases reported Thursday were identified on the Kenai Peninsula.

Skylar Giordano cuts Ryan Huerta’s hair at RD’s Barber Shop in Kenai, Alaska on Thursday, July 9, 2020. RD’s is one of the 186 local businesses and nonprofits in Kenai that already received financial assistance through the City of Kenai’s Grant Program. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai boosts local economy with grants

The city has distributed $1.9 million in grants to 186 businesses and nonprofits.

Hospital adds new COVID-19 rooms

The hospital has made several changes or modifications to its facilities.

Salmon Run Series returns

Running races now feature masks, pods and elbow taps

A Homer Volunteer Fire Department emergency medical technician, left, assists a person who was involved in a boat capsizing, center, as they walk up the load-launch ramp on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at the Homer Harbor in Homer, Alaska. The crew of the F/V Captain Cook helped rescue the person. The crew of the F/V Casino rescued the other two people who were aboard the 14-foot skiff when it capsized near the entrance of China Poot Bay. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
1 dead, 2 rescued after boat capsizes near China Poot Bay

A 14-foot skiff carrying three people overturned near Gull Island in the mouth of China Poot Bay.

The Kenai River and Skilak Lake are seen from the Hideout Trail in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, July 5, 2020, on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Public comment open on proposed refuge changes

State could get more power over regulation refuge

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
10 new COVID-19 cases on the Kenai Peninsula

Statewide, 49 new cases in total were identified: 40 resident cases and nine nonresident cases.

The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna is seen here on June 1. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly overrides veto of hybrid election system

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly voted to override a mayoral… Continue reading

Parker Rose and Kendra Rose, members of the Sterling Horse and Livestock 4-H Club, are seen here with their miniature donkey on April 23, 2020. (Photo courtesy Cassy Rankin/Kenai Peninsula District 4-H)
Keeping cows and carrying on

4-H looks for alternative ways to host animal auction

Most Read