A sign welcomes employees and visitors at the Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

A sign welcomes employees and visitors at the Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Assembly to ask state to fund vehicle removal

The resolution alleges that the state has not enforced their own laws by failing to fund enforcement.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly wants to get abandoned vehicles and junk off the side of the borough’s state roads.

A resolution sponsored by Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce, assembly member Tyson Cox and Assembly Vice President Brent Johnson would “encourag[e]” Alaska representatives and Gov. Mike Dunleavy to fully fund the state’s budget for the removal of abandoned vehicles in the Kenai Peninsula.

According to the resolution, the borough assembly passed an ordinance last year that specifically addressed “junk and abandoned vehicles” that are left on borough rights of way instead of being brought to borough landfills or other locations that accept vehicles.

The resolution claims, among other things, that abandoned vehicles attract vandalism and are “used for drug drops.”

“First impressions should be positive, showcasing Alaska’s pristine beauty; not visuals of junk and abandoned vehicles with missing tires, broken windows, and torched interiors littered along our highways,” the resolution says.

Since last January, the borough has towed about 28 vehicles resulting in 16 citations and more than $1,300 collected from vehicle owners on their roads. The problem, however, is with state-maintained roads located in the borough.

The resolution alleges that the state has not enforced their own laws by failing to fund enforcement of their own laws. The state could recover its costs by issuing citations and collecting against owners’ permanent fund dividend, the resolution says.

“Only when both the State and the Boroughs work together to address this serious problem of junk and abandoned vehicles along our roadways will it finally be properly addressed,” the resolution reads. Copies of the legislation would be sent to city councils on the peninsula, the peninsula’s state senators and state representatives, Speaker of the House Rep. Louise Stutes and Dunleavy.

The assembly will consider the legislation at their Tuesday meeting, which is open to in-person attendance and can be streamed remotely.

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

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