The tide and wind waves eat at the bottom of Kenai Bluff during high tide Sunday evening below Toyon Way in Kenai.

The tide and wind waves eat at the bottom of Kenai Bluff during high tide Sunday evening below Toyon Way in Kenai.

Kenai bluff erosion cost-share agreement in progress

A cost-share agreement between Kenai and the Army Corps of Engineers for a study relating to Kenai’s bluff erosion is close to realization. According to Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Chief Bruce Saxauer, the cost-share agreement will be finalized by the end of March.

The agreement will divide between the Corps and Kenai the $654,000 cost of a feasibility study for a project to halt the erosion of 5,000 feet of waterfront bluff in Kenai.

In 2011, The Kenai city council voted to enter the agreement, which gives a 50% share of the cost to each party, but the Corps has delayed signing on due to uncertainty about whether the federal government will grant the $327,000 required for its half.

The Corps decided to fund the study with money originally budgeted for three of its canceled projects in Alaska, and required national congressional approval to do so.

The approval was granted in February 2015.

Saxauer said that Corps “has not made any substantial changes to the cost-share agreement” since its most recent draft, signed by Kenai city manager Rick Koch in May 2014. Koch said he expects to see the final form of the agreement “any day,” and does not anticipate changes. “I think the scope of what they have to do for any project is the same or very similar,” Koch said

. “So I don’t think that they can vary in any significant way from the cost-sharing agreement we’ve already seen because there are very standard things they have to do.”

The Army Corps of Engineers and the Kenai City Council will hold a stakeholder meeting for the agreement and study on May 4 and 5, with a public presentation on the 5th from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com

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