The Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building is seen on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

The Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building is seen on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Borough looks to mitigate flooding around Big Eddy Road

The Kenai Peninsula Borough wants to better mitigate flooding around Big Eddy Road near Soldotna that stems from gravel pit operations.

Kenai Peninsula Planning Director Robert Ruffner told assembly members earlier this month that multiple streets on the borough’s road maintenance system in that area were, at times, underwater last summer due to flood events in the area. The structure of the roads, he said, is compromised when they are underwater.

As a result, the borough wants to develop a drainage plan outlining potential solutions to the flooding problem in that area, which it says comes from gravel pit operations.

Ruffner told assembly members earlier this month that the borough has worked with gravel pit operators in the area regarding flooding, and that operators at both sites have expressed interest in finding solutions.

The borough applied for and received a grant through the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Alaska Clean Water Actions program. The award, just over $40,000 in reimbursement costs, is contingent on the borough also receiving additional money from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and from the Alaska Legislature.

Legislation being considered by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday would authorize Mayor Peter Micciche to accept the grant money and designate anticipated funds for the project.

Efforts to mitigate flooding near Big Eddy Road come as the borough assembly works to overhaul the sections of borough code that address gravel pits and material site permits. The body formed a subcommittee specifically dedicated to those efforts roughly a year ago, with the next public hearing on that legislation scheduled for June 6.

Tuesday’s assembly meeting can be streamed live on the borough website at kpb.legistar.us or on KDLL 91.9 FM.

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

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