Kate Cox, 12, testifies before the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kate Cox, 12, testifies before the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Council, public voice support for Triumvirate land donation

The land is located near Daubenspeck Park by the Kenai Walmart.

Kenai City Council members and members of the public voiced their support of a conditional donation of Kenai land to Triumvirate Theatre to help with its rebuilding efforts.

The legislation up for consideration by the council during their June 16 meeting would conditionally donate a piece of city land on which Triumvirate could build its theater. The land is located near Daubenspeck Park by the Kenai Walmart.

The theater burned down earlier this year.

Triumvirate President Joe Rizzo wrote in a letter to the council that he expects Triumvirate will need about 2 acres for its new facility, which would include enough room for its playhouse and a parking lot.

Rizzo has called the city’s donation of land “critical” to a Tier 2 grant the theater plans to apply for that is offered by the Rasmuson Foundation. Triumvirate is using $25,000 it received via a Tier 1 grant from the foundation for architectural and design work. Rizzo said Wednesday he plans to have architectural designs of the new facility to provide to the council during their July 7 meeting.

Kate Cox, the 12-year-old daughter of Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member Tyson Cox, asked the council to support the legislation. She said she has previously been a part of Triumvirate productions, her favorite being “Magic Tree House – Pirates Past Noon,” in which she played a pirate.

“I have been in a lot of plays with Triumvirate since I was 8 years old,” Cox said. “I really love meeting new people and getting the chance to get out of my comfort zone. I would really appreciate it if you would help the theater and donate the land.”

Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District Tim Dillon told the council that donating the land would offer a “substantial benefit” to the community and be a good financial investment. Kenai would receive sales tax from tickets sold at the theater and things bought at local retailers, as well as property taxes paid by the theater.

“[The theater] provides an investment in the community itself and the fabric of what Kenai is all about,” Dillon said.

Multiple council members also voiced their support for the donation.

Council member Henry Knackstedt said both of his children participated in theater when they were young and he sees “absolutely no downside” to the donation.

“From the city side, it’s great for the city and it’s great for the theater,” Knackstedt said. “There is no downside.”

Council member Teea Winger said she agreed with other comments in support and said she would vote to support the donation.

“There’s just so much value to bringing this into the city and to be supporting this,” Winger said. “There’s so much it offers the youth.”

The council voted unanimously to postpone the legislation until their July 7 meeting, which will give the Kenai Planning and Zoning Commission time to review it before the council’s final vote.

Wednesday’s full council meeting can be viewed on the city’s YouTube page.

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

More in News

Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion 
The Kenai River can be seen from the Funny River Campground on Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Funny River, Alaska.
State seeks funding for Funny River boat launch

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources is working to secure funding for… Continue reading

.
COVID-19 cases remain high in area

Every region of Alaska was considered to be at “intermediate” or “high”… Continue reading

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion 
The entrance to Soldotna Public Library is seen on Thursday, March 25, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska.
Soldotna library seeks to beef up reading programs

The Soldotna Public Library will use a $2,200 donation from the Soldotna… Continue reading

Characters from the "Little Mermaid" wave to the crowd from the Triumvirate Theatre float during the Soldotna Progress Days parade on Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Progress on parade

The Progress Days Parade was held Saturday in Soldotna.… Continue reading

Scaffolding is erected around the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, July 20, 2020. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Parishioners largely welcomed back to in-person church services

One serious point of contention during the coronavirus pandemic, amid many, has… Continue reading

Kenai Courthouse is photographed on February 26, 2019 in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)
Court reports, July 25

The following dismissals were recently handed down in Kenai District Court: Dalton… Continue reading

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Police Reports, July 25, 2021

Information for this report was taken from publicly available law enforcement records… Continue reading

Clayton Holland stands in his office at the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
New superintendent discusses upcoming school year

Clayton Holland is ready to get to work. That’s what the new… Continue reading

South Peninsula Hospital registered nurse Anne Garay gives Jessica Entsminger her second COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, May 7, 2021, at a pop-up vaccination clinic at the Boathouse Pavillion on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. About 25 people received vaccines in the first 3.5 hours of the 4-hour clinic. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
As COVID cases increase, officials think we’re not yet at the fourth peak

Department of Health and Social Services officials said during a Thursday press… Continue reading

Most Read