An aerial assessment document provided to Kenai City Council members shows a parcel of land near Outside Way and the Kenai Bible Church in Old Town Kenai at the toe of the bluff. The parcel is being purchased as part of a bluff stabilization project. (Map via City of Kenai)

An aerial assessment document provided to Kenai City Council members shows a parcel of land near Outside Way and the Kenai Bible Church in Old Town Kenai at the toe of the bluff. The parcel is being purchased as part of a bluff stabilization project. (Map via City of Kenai)

Kenai to buy land parcel for bluff project

The project aims to stabilize about 5,000 feet of bluff on the north shore of the Kenai River

The City of Kenai will buy a half-acre piece of land as part of the Kenai Bluff Stabilization Project following authorization by city council members during their Nov. 16 meeting.

That bluff stabilization project, in the works for decades, aims to stabilize about 5,000 feet of bluff on the north shore of the Kenai River. The parcel is located near Outside Way and the Kenai Bible Church in Old Town Kenai at the toe of the bluff, according to an aerial assessment document provided to city council members.

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander wrote in a March 31 memo to council members that the parcel, about 0.6 acres in size, has an assessed value of $200. However, the city will purchase the parcel for $1,200 in addition to $1,200 in closing costs following negotiations.

“Negotiations have spanned almost the entire year, and the matter is complicated because Julian Errea, the owner according to Borough parcel records is deceased along with his wife,” Ostrander wrote.

The same memo says that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers identified that parcel as being needed for the bluff stabilization project. As part of that project, a berm will be constructed at the toe of the bluff, which is currently eroding at a rate of 3 feet per year.

The city estimates the total cost of the bluff stabilization project to be about $35 million, of which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to cover 65%. Using that cost estimate, the city’s local match amounts to about $12.25 million, to be covered by the $6.5 million from the state, other grants and the city’s general fund. The city hopes to put the project out to bid in April.

More information about the city’s bluff stabilization project can be found on the city’s Public Works website at kenai.city/publicworks.

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

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