The Kenai City Council meets on Wednesday, Feb. 18 in Kenai, Alaska. (Screenshot)

The Kenai City Council meets on Wednesday, Feb. 18 in Kenai, Alaska. (Screenshot)

Kenai approves projects manager position

The manager will be responsible for capital projects “from inception to completion.”

The City of Kenai will add a “Capital Projects Manager” position to the Public Works Department following a unanimous vote in support of the addition by the City Council during their Wednesday night meeting.

According to the legislation, the need for the position is seen in the scope of planned projects detailed in the city’s FY 2022-2026 Capital Improvement Plan. Capital improvement projects are typically one-time expenditures that cost more than $35,000 and have a lifetime of more than one year.

Projects identified in Kenai’s 2021-2025 Capital Improvement Plan, for example, include the Kenai Municipal Airport’s new sand storage facility, the replacement of aging equipment and the extension of city streets, among others.

Kenai Public Works Director Scott Curtin and Human Resources Director Stormy Brown worked with City Manager Paul Ostrander to create the position description, classification, grading and title to reflect the current needs of the city as it relates to capital improvement projects.

According to a March memo sent from Curtin to the council, the manager will be responsible for capital projects “from inception to completion.”

“With the development of this past year’s Capital Improvement Plan, which forecasted projects out in detail for the next five years, and the continued ongoing assessments of our aging City facilities and assets, it has become clear that the amount of projects in front of us supports the demand for this position,” Curtin wrote in the memo.

The legislation notes the importance of creating the position prior to “construction season,” which Curtin said is relatively short with too many projects for one person to manage effectively. The position is expected to be funded by the projects, with no additional appropriations needed from the council to the Public Works Department.

Multiple council members voiced their support for the position, including Henry Knackstedt, who spoke to the relief the creation of the position would provide to Curtin.

“As good as our public works director is, he can’t do it all,” Knackstedt said.

Wednesday’s council meeting can be viewed in full on the City of Kenai’s YouTube channel.

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

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