Kenai capital projects moving along

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 10:12pm
  • News

The City of Kenai is moving closer to checking a couple capital projects off its list, none bigger than the new 17,000-square-foot maintenance facility.

The city shop, a $4-million project built by Blazy Construction, should be substantially completed in early April, Capital Projects Manager Sean Wedemeyer said.

Construction began last August to replace the current maintenance facility, which resides at the corner of Airport Way and Willow Street, alongside the Parks and Recreation Department. The city has outgrown the current shop with more than 400 pieces of city equipment, from snow removal trucks to public works vehicles, Wedemeyer said.

The new shop on Marathon Road has five overhead doors and adequate space for drive-in repairs of large vehicles and for shop workers to assemble, store and upkeep city equipment, he said.

Kenai City Manager Rick Koch said from the time the steel framing went up to now the building actually looks smaller from the outside; it looks bigger on the inside.

At the Kenai City Council meeting on March 19, mayor Pat Porter announced $500 from the Mini-Grant Steering Committee would be awarded to Kia Youngren-Brown, a Kenai Central High School student, for a mural to be painted inside the maintenance shop wall.

With the new shop built on city property, the city will save more than $35,000 a year in leasing costs to the airport, Kenai Finance Director Terry Eubank said.

The City of Kenai made a stride in another capital project, awarding a bid to Nelson Engineering PC for the design of a new reservoir and replacement of a water main.

After receiving bids from five firms last month, a selection committee of four city employees agreed on Nelson Engineering for the amount of $369,062. The city council awarded the bid in a resolution at its March 19 meeting.

The scope of the project is for a one million gallon water reservoir and replacement of approximately 2,100 feet of existing water main that was originally installed in 1970.

The city had already secured a municipal matching grant of $1,557,000 in 2010 from the state for the replacement of the asbestos concrete water main from the city production well. The estimated replacement cost is $745,000 and the project should begin this summer, said Wedemeyer, the Kenai Public Works Director.

Work on the new reservoir is not expected to begin until February 2015, he said.

The city council approved an ordinance to appropriate the funds to replace the 44-year-old section of water main from along Swires Road to Lawton Drive on the Kenai Spur Highway at its March 19 meeting. The ordinance required a 30 percent match from the city of $667,286.

Last year, the council approved an ordinance to provide funding for the construction of approximately 350 feet of 10-inch high density polyethylene piping and install a well pump to tie into the water treatment facility.

Koch said while the new reservoir design and water main replacement projects are different and will be completed at different times the city has been appropriating the necessary funds to complete the project to improve the efficiency of the city water system.

Wedemeyer said the replacement of the water main is eventually essential because the asbestos-cement becomes brittle as it ages.

“The water main brings water to town and while we do have loop system we may have problems with water pressure and flow rate, he said. “We are being proactive to replace the main now to ensure continued reliability.”

Reach Dan Balmer at

More in News

Kenai Fire Marshal Jeremy Hamilton is seen by one of Kenai Fire Department’s Tower trucks on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Kenai Fire Department in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Get up, get out and get safe’

Kids taught about fire safety as part of prevention effort

Bob Bird, left, chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party, and former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman make the case in favor of a state constitutional convention during a debate in Anchorage broadcast Thursday by Alaska Public Media. (Screenshot from Alaska Public Media’s YouTube channel)
Constitutional convention debate gets heated

Abortion, PFD factor into forum.

Carol Freas (right) helps a voter fill out absentee election materials in Kenai City Hall ahead of the Oct. 4 municipal election on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Absentee voting already underway

Absentee in-person voting has been made available across the borough

Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
What’s on the ballot: Reapportionment, new field house, school bond

Voters will decide on ballot measures that address schools, public safety and legislative bodies

Cars line up ahead of dismissal at Mountain View Elementary School on Thursday, September 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. A bond package up for consideration by Kenai Peninsula Borough voters on Oct. 4 would fund improvements to the school’s traffic flow. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Parking lot problems

Lack of space for pickup and drop-offs creates traffic jam at elementary school

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson points out elements of the school building on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Aging school on the brink

Renovations are cost prohibitive at Soldotna Elementary

Rep. Mary Peltola, an Alaska Democrat, delivers a speech on the U.S. House floor before Thursday’s vote approving her first bill, establishing an Office of Food Security in the Department of Veterans Affairs. It passed the House by a 376-49 vote, although its fate in the Senate is undetermined. (Screenshot from official U.S. House video)
Poll: Peltola’s a popular pol

Food for vets bill passes House, pollster says she is “the most popular figure in Alaska right now.”

A parking sign awaits the new executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund at its Juneau headquarters, Three finalists will be interviewed for the job during a public meeting Monday by the fund’s board of trustees, who are expected to deliberate and announce the new director immediately afterward. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Interviews, selection of new Permanent Fund CEO set for Monday

Three finalists seeking to manage $73.7B fund to appear before trustees at public meeting in Juneau

Principal Sarge Truesdell looks at cracked siding outside of Soldotna High School on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. The siding is one of several projects in a bond package Kenai Peninsula voters will consider during the Oct. 4 municipal election. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Split siding at SoHi

The damage has been given patchwork treatment over the years

Most Read