Photo composite by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  This composite of several images shows the excavation of a Soldotna High School field Tuesday April 22, 2014 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo composite by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion This composite of several images shows the excavation of a Soldotna High School field Tuesday April 22, 2014 in Soldotna, Alaska.

SoHi turf track and field project underway, borough finalizing funding

  • By KAYLEE OSOWSKI
  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 11:35pm
  • News

While work on the Soldotna High School track and artificial turf field began last week, the Kenai Peninsula Borough is still finalizing funding sources.

A laydown ordinance was introduced at the April 15 borough assembly meeting to make up the nearly $300,000 shortfall. It calls for funds to be appropriated from the borough’s general fund and redirected from other school capital projects.

The state granted the borough $3.1 million for both the Kenai Central High School track and field and the SoHi track projects in one lump sum during the 2012 legislative session. The grant did not include any specifications for how many dollars were to be put toward each project, borough Chief of Staff Paul Ostrander said. The state appropriated an additional $1.5 million in 2013 just for SoHi’s turf projects.

After completion of the Kenai project, about $2.4 million of state money remained for the SoHi project, which is estimated to cost about $2.7 million.

“We were hopeful right up to the very end that we were going to be able to land the project with the money that was available,” Ostrander said, “but we’re about $300,000 short of being able to award and construct that track and field.”

Ostrander said there are three components to the project and each will have a separate contract. The first is the civil engineering and pre-turf installation work, which includes excavation of the current track and field and drainage system installation. The second phase is the track installation and the final is the field installation. Ostrander said the project is set to be completed before the first scheduled football game.

He said price to construct the project hasn’t increased, but the borough received $300,000 less funding than it had hoped.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation did not award a $200,000 grant to the project, which the borough had anticipated receiving. Community and fiscal projects manager, Brenda Ahlberg, applies for all grants through the borough. The Kenai turf project, completed last year, received a grant from the foundation for $200,000. Ostrander said he heard the foundation’s grant program has changed since Kenai was awarded the money.

However, Krista Washington, marketing and communications coordinator with the foundation said its funding policies haven’t changed.

“We do have a very competitive process and we’d love to fund everyone, if we could, but we can’t,” Washington said.

Ostrander said the borough was also hoping to receive money from the City of Soldotna and said that is still a potential funding source.

Soldotna City Manager Mark Dixson said the council has not appropriated any funds for the project at this time. He said while the issue isn’t on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting, he intends to discuss it, if time allows.

According to a memo to the assembly, the maintenance department determined that a total of $165,000 can be utilized from three other school projects and appropriated to the SoHi turf project.

The department calls for redirecting $75,000 originally for playground upgrades, $50,000 that was for bleacher replacements and $40,000 left over from intercom system upgrades.

Ostrander said the borough was not going to complete the area wide bleacher and playground projects in fiscal year 2014 so those were excess appropriations. Additional funding will be allocated for the projects if they are of a high enough priority for fiscal year 2015.

The intercom system project has been completed as a lower cost than originally anticipated, Ostrander said, so the $40,000 was leftover money from the upgrade.

According to the memo, the administration is requesting the remaining $135,000 come from the borough’s general fund.

The ordinance is scheduled for a shortened hearing at the May 6 assembly meeting in Soldotna.

 

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  Pat Heraghty operates an excavator for South Central Construction, Inc., a Soldotna company that is working on the field at Soldotna High School Tuesday April 22, 2014 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Pat Heraghty operates an excavator for South Central Construction, Inc., a Soldotna company that is working on the field at Soldotna High School Tuesday April 22, 2014 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  A crew digs into the football field at Soldotna High School Tuesday April 22, 2014 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion A crew digs into the football field at Soldotna High School Tuesday April 22, 2014 in Soldotna, Alaska.

More in News

Data from the state of Alaska show a steep increase in COVID-19 cases in January 2022. (Department of Health and Social Services)
Omicron drives COVID spike in Alaska as officials point to decreasing cases in eastern US

On Friday, the seven-day average number of daily cases skyrocketed to 2,234.6 per 100,000 people

Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire
Dan Blanchard, CEO of UnCruise Adventures, stands in front of a ship on May 14, 2021.
Smooth sailing for the 2022 season?

Cautious optimism reigns, but operators say it’s too early to tell.

Former Alaska Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bakalar speaks a news conference on Jan. 10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska, after she sued the state. A federal judge on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, ruled that Bakalar was wrongfully terminated by the then-new administration of Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy for violating her freedom of speech rights. (AP File Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Judge sides with attorney who alleged wrongful firing

Alaska judge says the firing violated free speech and associational rights under the U.S. and state constitutions.

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel (left) swears in student representative Silas Thibodeau at the Kenai City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai junior sworn in as council student rep

Thibodeau says he wants to focus on inclusivity and kindness during his term

Branden Bornemann, executive director of the Kenai Watershed Forum, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the forum on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘A voice for this river’

Forum reflects on 25 years protecting peninsula watershed

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Earthquake Center provides information on a 5.1 magnitude earthquake that struck at approximately 8:18 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. The quake struck approximately 17 miles southeast of Redoubt volcano or 41 miles southwest of Kenai, Alaska, at a depth of 72.8 miles. (Screenshot)
Quake near Redoubt shakes peninsula

The quake was centered 41 miles southwest of Kenai.

Most Read