Kenai council nixes $20 library card fee for outside city residents

  • By DAN BALMER
  • Wednesday, May 7, 2014 11:49pm
  • News

The Kenai City Council voted to remove an annual $20 library card fee to non city residents then passed the resolution of fee changes adopted from the fiscal year 2015 budget process.

While talk of revamping the playground at Municipal Park dominated discussion at Wednesday’s city council meeting, the council passed three ordinances and seven resolutions. One of the resolutions authorized the city manger to enter an agreement with the Department of the Army Corp of Engineers to complete one final feasibility study for the Kenai River bluff erosion project, a capital priority of the City of Kenai for more than 20 years.

The library card fee was one of four changes that came out of the budget process. Also in the resolution was a monthly rent increase for units at Vintage Pointe to match market rates, a parking fee increase at Kenai Municipal Airport and an increase in water and sewer rates to keep up with operating costs.

Council member Terry Bookey motioned to remove the library card fee for non-residents and said the library is an essential service that should be free and open to all. Council member Brian Gabriel was the lone vote against the amendment to remove the fee.

From about 11,000 Kenai Community Library users, 65 percent do not live in the city, according to the resolution. The $20 fee would have generated $50,000 per year in revenue and reduce the subsidy for outside city users provided by Kenai property tax payers.

The council passed an ordinance to appropriate $308.66 from a Mountain View Elementary penny drive to the Kenai Animal Shelter, appropriated $25,000 in the airport fund for the replacement of security camera equipment and re-appropriated state grant funds to the senior center improvement capital project fund.

Council approved the city manager to switch city healthcare providers and enter an agreement with Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska effective on July 1.

Mayor Pat Porter said the agreement to proceed with the final feasibility study on the bluff erosion project is a huge hurdle for the city and is excited to see it move forward.

The council also passed resolutions for a lease agreement with Schilling Rentals, airport landing fee and terminal rents, purchase of voice over IP equipment and awarding an agreement for the city hall and senior center boiler replacement.

During his report, city manager Rick Koch asked the council for direction on how to proceed with Municipal Park after the Kenai Parks and Recreation commission passed a resolution in support for a playground upgrade proposal that would include the addition of a 2-5 year-old playground and the replacement of the 5-12 year-old equipment.

After 45 minutes of discussion from council, they all agreed to take a step back from their original plans and gather information from the public through a work session and come up with a solution to complete the park that would benefit all residents.

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