One of the two buildings used to teach elementary school children in Kachemak Selo sits on the outer edge of the village Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in the village at the head of Kachemack Bay. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

One of the two buildings used to teach elementary school children in Kachemak Selo sits on the outer edge of the village Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in the village at the head of Kachemack Bay. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Assembly OKs project list for state funding consideration

The list outlines work for which the borough would like financial assistance from the State of Alaska

A list of projects being sent to lawmakers in Juneau by the Kenai Peninsula Borough describes tens of millions of dollars in capital improvements needed across the Kenai Peninsula. The list, approved by Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly members earlier this month, outlines work for which the borough would like financial assistance from the State of Alaska.

Projects included in the list vary from new building construction to improvements to existing infrastructure, and are spread across the borough.

Purchasing and Contracting Director John Hedges and Community and Fiscal Projects Manager Rachel Chaffee wrote in a Jan. 26 memo to assembly members that the list is meant to reflect priorities voiced by borough, by borough service areas, by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and by members of the public.

“In establishing this list of projects, a concerted effort was made to identify and prioritize projects that address areawide needs and provide the maximum benefit to all the taxpayers of the Borough,” Hedges and Chaffee wrote in the memo.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre told assembly members during a Feb. 7 meeting of the body’s legislative committee that the projects included in the list will be submitted to CAPSIS, the State of Alaska’s capital project submission and information system. Submittings projects to that program, Navarre said, gives lawmakers the opportunity to apply state funding to the projects if money becomes available.

“These are larger projects for the most part, with the exception of the Seldovia one,” Navarre said.

Described in the document are needs for:

■ $4.5 million for the replacement of and improvements to South Peninsula Hospital’s emergency power plant

■ $10 million worth of improvements to roads maintained by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Road Service Area

■ About $8 million for flood mitigation projects in the Seward Bear Creek Flood Service Area

■ $2 million for improvements to borough transfer sites

■ $275,000 to rehabilitate the sport court at Susan B. English School

■ $3.5 million for the expansion and renovation of Western Emergency Services’ Anchor Point station

■ About $10.9 million for a community center in Kachemak Selo

Inclusion of Kachemak Selo on the list of priorities comes after years of efforts to construct new school building in the community, which is located at the head of Kachemak Bay. The Alaska Legislature has awarded a $10 million education grant for the construction of a new school, which requires a 30% local match from the Kenai Peninsula Borough of which. Of the $5 million needed for the borough’s match, Navarre told assembly members $3 million has already been set aside.

“We haven’t tapped into the state money yet because once we do that, we end up being committed to the project,” Navarre said.

The state and the borough have gone back and forth on the best way to fund improvements to the school facilities in Kachemak Selo, where about 30 students are served by three dilapidating residential buildings. Former Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce, for example, worked to eliminate altogether the need for a local funding match.

The borough has also floated the idea of building a community in Kachemak Selo, which it says could double as a school facility. A community center is what is described in the priority list approved by assembly members this month.

“We put (Kachemak Selo) on here so that we could try to get, instead of a grant that (would require us to) own the facility as a school facility and maintain it, we could have a grant for a community facility in Kachemak Selo that would be owned by the community, but that the school district could lease and use,” Navarre told assembly members.

Per the legislation, copies of the priority list will be sent to Gov. Mike Dunleavy as well as lawmakers representing the Kenai Peninsula.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, right, slices and serves fresh watermelon during North Peninsula Recreation Service Area’s Family Fun in the Midnight Sun at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center in Nikiski, Alaska, on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
North Peninsula Rec holds annual summer celebration

Attractions at this year’s event included carnival games, food trucks, field games, face painting, live music and demonstrations

The Blood Bank of Alaska’s new Kenai Peninsula center is seen in Soldotna, Alaska, on Monday, June 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Blood Bank relaunches permanent center on Kenai Peninsula

The new location joins others in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Wasilla

Nathan Nelson directs a kite flying dozens of feet up in the sky above Millennium Square in Kenai, Alaska, during the Kenai Kite Festival on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Sun, wind, friends and kites

Kiters both experienced and novice gather for Kenai festival

Marchers walk from the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex to Soldotna Creek Park as part of Soldotna Pride in the Park on Saturday, June 3, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Pride in the Park, other Pride celebrations set for Saturday

The event starts with the Two-Spirit March, which meets at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex at 11:30 a.m.

Signs direct visitors at Seward City Hall on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward OKs around $362,000 in purchases for Electric Department material

A pair of resolutions were included and passed within the consent agenda

Sockeye salmon are gathered together at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Dipnets for commercial setnet fishers given emergency approval by CFEC

Up to three 12-hour periods of commercial dipnetting “may” be allowed each week from June 20 to July 31

Council member Dave Carey speaks during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna explores its water and sewer expansion fees

The fees are a single charge to people who are newly or differently demanding or utilizing the services of the city’s water and sewer system

Sockeye salmon caught in a set gillnet are dragged up onto the beach at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Disaster determination received for 2023 east side setnet fishery

Disasters have been recognized for 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023

Design Project Manager Steve Noble and Public Involvement Lead Stephanie Queen appear to discuss the Sterling Safety Corridor Improvements project during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Sterling Safety Corridor project to get ‘reintroduction’ at community meetings this month

The corridor begins near Whistle Hill in Soldotna and ends shortly after Swanson River Road in Sterling

Most Read