Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna approves $32,000 federal grant for airport

The funds were made available through the American Rescue Plan Act for improvement projects at the Soldotna Municipal Airport

The Soldotna City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to accept a grant from the American Rescue Plan Act to help fund improvement projects at the Soldotna Municipal Airport.

The body voted 6-0 to accept the $32,000 grant agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday, which will reimburse the city’s airport fund.

In a Dec. 8 memo to Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen, Kyle Kornelis, the Soldotna Public Works director, said the grant is available at a 100% federal share with no local match required for expenses necessary to operate, maintain and manage the airport.

Queen introduced the move to accept the grant at the Soldotna City Council’s Dec. 15 meeting, citing the need for economic relief for the airport.

Council members Dan Nelson and Justin Ruffridge moved to enact the ordinance on Wednesday.

Queen said the grant would allow additional funds for operational costs at the airport.

“It’s similar to previous COVID-related relief bills where they had designated specific funding for airport use, and it’s flexible in that it can fund operational expenses,” Queen said. “It’s broad in that it can fund things that otherwise our airport fund would have to fund.”

The ordinance approval is effective immediately as of Wednesday — permitting the city to sign the grant agreement with the FAA.

Federal relief funds were announced in November for peninsula airports for the purpose of aiding in costs related to operations, personnel and sanitation. Through the program, the Kenai Municipal Airport was set to receive about $1.71 million, the Homer Airport was set to receive about $1.27 million, and Seldovia and Seward were set to receive $32,000 each.

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