Soldotna council looks at Arc Lake campfires, borough ballot initiative

  • By Rashah McChesney
  • Wednesday, September 9, 2015 10:22pm
  • News
Clarion file photo

Clarion file photo

During what Mayor Nels Anderson called the “shortest meeting ever,” Soldotna City Council members unanimously approved ordinances allowing fires at Arc Lake park, adding money to the airport fund and allocating $7,500 toward efforts to influence the outcome of a citizen referendum to repeal the city’s ability to collect sales tax on non-prepared food during nine months of the year.

Council member and mayoral candidate Pete Sprague offered the ordinance to amend city code on Arc Lake after he noticed more activity in the area.

“I noticed several months ago that in our code the fires were prohibited … so I went up and looked at Arc Lake and there was a bench and a fire ring on the beach which is specifically against what our city code says,” Sprague said.

The area is opened to year-round fishing and the city maintains an ice skating area on the lake as well, according to Sprague’s memo on the ordinance.

The city also appropriated a $16,771 grant for the 2014 asphalt rehab and apron expansion at Soldotna airport.

City Engineer Kyle Kornelis told the council that the FAA contacted the city and notified it of additional funds available for the city’s grant application.

The 2014 project was funded primarily by FAA grant funds, while the city and state split just over 7 percent of the total cost of $536,667, according to the ordinance.

The airport commission met on August 20 and council member Keith Baxter said a final draft of chapter two of its new master plan is newly available and can be gotten from Kornelis.

“There will be a public outreach meeting conducted after all of the sections of this new plan are drafted,” Baxter said.

The council also approved money toward the city’s efforts to sway the outcome KPB Prop No. 1 which it estimates could cost the city between $1,050,000 to $1,200,000 in sales tax revenue annually.

City council candidate and frequent commentator Fred Sturman said he believed the city should not be collecting more tax than it needs.

“I looked over the information that you guys put out the other day and you know, you’re saying you’re going to lose a million dollars a year. It seems like the past few years you guys have been receiving a little over more than a million in your budget more than what you need,” Sturman said. “I don’t think you need the money. I think the people need the money and the community, more than the city.”

Sturman said he hoped that if the council approved spending the money, it would also make sure that the information it put out on the ballot initiative was accurate and thorough.

Soldotna resident Tim Cashman said he supported the idea of the council appropriating money to educate city residents about sales tax revenue and how it affects the city’s budget.

“The way I look at this issue, it’s either a reduction in services or an increase in taxes somewhere else. That’s just my concern,” he said.

 

Reach Rashah McChesney at rashah.mcchesney@peninsulaclarion.com or follow her on Twitter @litmuslens.

More in News

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Members of the Alaska House of Representatives on Saturday rejected the budget bill passed by the Senate earlier in the week. The bill will now go to a bicameral committee for negotiations, but the end of the legislative session is Wednesday.
House votes down Senate’s budget as end of session nears

State budget now goes to negotiating committee

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Candidate for Alaska’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives Tara Sweeney, a Republican, was in Juneau on Monday and sat down with the Empire for an interview. Sweeney said the three main pillars of her campaign are the economy, jobs and healthy communities.
Sweeney cites experience in run for Congress

GOP candidate touts her history of government-related work

One tree stands in front of the Kenai Post Office on Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai taking down hazard beetle trees

The city hopes to leverage grant funds for most of the work

Former Alaska governor and current congressional hopeful Sarah Palin speaks with attendees at a meet-and-greet event outside of Ginger’s Restaurant on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Palin brings congressional bid to Soldotna

The former governor took time Saturday to sign autographs and take pictures with attendees

In this October 2019 photo, Zac Watt, beertender for Forbidden Peak Brewery, pours a beer during the grand opening for the Auke Bay business in October 2019. On Sunday, the Alaska House of Representatives OK’d a major update to the state’s alcohol laws. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Graphic by Ashlyn O'Hara
Borough, school district finalizing $65M bond package

Efforts to fund maintenance and repairs at school district facilities have been years in the making

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Members of the House Majority Coalition spent most of Friday, May 13, 2022, in caucus meetings at the Alaska State Capitol, discussing how to proceed with a large budget bill some have called irresponsible. With a thin majority in the House of Representatives, there’s a possibility the budget could pass.
State budget work stretches into weekend

Sessions have been delayed and canceled since Wednesday

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Alaskans for Better Government members La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow, Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson and ‘Wáahlaal Gidáak Barbara Blake embrace on the floor of the Alaska State Senate following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state’s 229 federally recognized tribes.
Tribal recognition bill clears Senate, nears finish line

Senators say recognition of tribes was overdue

The Alaska Division of Forestry’s White Mountain crew responds to a fire burning near Milepost 46.5 of the Sterling Highway on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Cooper Landing Emergency Services)
Officials encourage residents to firewise homes

The central peninsula has already had its first reported fires of the season

Most Read