Following a decadeslong bureaucratic back-and-forth, the City of Kenai is slated to formally take ownership of the 4th Avenue Park during the Kenai City Council’s Wednesday night meeting.
The park is located on 4th Avenue in Kenai across from Aspen Street and features a basketball court, a grass field with a backstop, a covered picnic shelter with a charcoal grill and a seasonal restroom.
After Alaska became a state, the property was patented by the federal government to a homeowners association under the condition that it be kept as a park. The association did not pay taxes on the land, which was ultimately foreclosed on by the Kenai Peninsula Borough. The City of Kenai was issued a deed to the land in 1978 by the Kenai Superior Court after requesting the land from the borough.
In 2000, the federal government learned that the homeowners association no longer owned the land and they decided that they were once again the land’s owner. This decision ignored that of the Kenai Superior Court. The City of Kenai continued to operate and maintain the park as the owner until the federal government “recorded its assertion” or ownership in 2018.
The City of Kenai worked with the federal government to regain control of the park. This required the federal government to grant the title to the State of Alaska, which would then grant the title to the Kenai Peninsula Borough, which would then grant the title to the City of Kenai.
The Kenai City Council will have the opportunity to vote on whether or not to formally accept the deed on Wednesday night.
“This Resolution approving acceptance of a deed to the 4th Avenue Park from the Kenai Peninsula Borough is the culmination of a bureaucratic nightmare,” wrote Kenai City Attorney Scott Bloom in a memo to the council.
The 4th Avenue Park is open Monday through Sunday, 5 a.m. to midnight. While at the park, there is no excessive noise or loud music allowed. Overnight parking or camping is prohibited. Pets must be on a leash and no alcoholic beverages are allowed.