K-Beach High-Water Task Force makes progress

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Tuesday, February 24, 2015 11:16pm
  • News

The K-Beach High-Water Drainage Task Force is targeting five streets in Kalifornsky Beach subdivisions affected by surface-water flooding as potential culvert construction sites.

Buoy Avenue, Patrick Drive, Lori Jo Street and Scott Avenue, Dana Bayes Street, Mistral Street and Farr Street were identified and approved during the task force’s fourth meeting Monday.

Task Force co-chair Jim Munter, a retired state hydrologist, said the project is a significant step for addressing the flooding. Each installed culvert is one small step to remedy a much larger issue, he said.

“There is a persistent pattern of culverts not being put in,” Munter said. “It is frankly devastating for people.”

The Local/Small Scale Subcommittee, one of two subcommittees formed under the task force’s organizational umbrella, will be responsible for managing the study and analysis of the sites, Munter said. If approved, they will likely require approval through the Kenai Peninsula Borough, he said.

Attendees decided to attend Tuesday’s assembly meeting to speak as a group about the issue during the section for public comment. Assembly member Kelly Wolf was in attendance but dissuaded the group saying it was not the right meeting to attend because the focus would be on the ordinance up for public hearing that would ban marijuana cultivation facilities in the borough’s unincorporated areas.

At the Jan. 26 meeting, the task force approved a K-Beach High-Water Relief and Prevention Feasibility Study put together by the Local/Small Scale Subcommittee. The document addresses flooding issues, hydraulic analysis, proposed solutions, scope of work and feasibility study, according to meeting minutes.

However, Munter said he is now concerned about how much interest the project will see now that oil prices have plummeted.

Munter said the task force has made connections with the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the borough and the Army Corps of Engineers.

None of them have expressed much interest, Munter said.

“They all have a different story, often it is peripheral to what they mostly do,” Munter said.

Things are getting done however, Munter said.

Kelly Lipinski, who manages the newly formed K-Beach Flood Mitigation Project, a non-profit that directly assists projects associated with the flooding, was in attendance.

The meetings have been consistently attended, Munter said.

The two subcommittees, which Munter said is a good approach to running a group with such a large task, have been producing valuable information.

“There has been quite a bit of activity,” Munter said.

 

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulclarion.com.

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