Soldotna receives matching grant for erosion prevention

  • Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:06pm
  • News

Soldotna will install three sets of stairs at Swiftwater Park after receiving a grant from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for erosion prevention activities after enacting an ordinance on Wednesday night.

The stairs will include two sets of proper staircases and a third, short fish walk with a pair of larger and smaller staircases.

“There will be three new, different points of access along Swiftwater,” said Parks and Recreation Director Andrew Carmichael. “From the boardwalk downstream, it’s a very steep bank and it’s been challenging but we’ve never had the money to provide access.”

The city of Soldotna had previously received a grant for $25,000 that included a 50 percent match of funds from the city, according to the ordinance. The city was offered an additional $25,000 to continue the project.

“This is a fifty-fifty matching grant from U.S. Fish and Wildlife,” said Stephanie Queen, Soldotna’s interim city manager. “We’ve received this grant before and, in this case, they’re allowing the city to contribute our matching funds with funds that have been previously appropriated through our capital funds.”

So the funds being used to match the grant have already been appropriated for the project, therefore the city’s bill will remain the same.

The ordinance, which passed unanimously at Wednesday’s council meeting, will allow the staircase project to move forward.

“The focus of (the stairs) is to funnel and put people into the river in a manner that doesn’t hurt the habitat,” Charmichael said. “By provide those accesses, people by-and-large use them, so it takes the foot traffic off of the habitat.”

Often, impromptu social trails are used to reach the ‘perfect spot,’ Carmichael said.

“This allows us to say ‘can I get you to go on the stairs,’ as opposed to ‘don’t go here,” Carmichael said. “You can engineer and educate, the two keys… We engineer it to get them to go where we want,” and then educate people that the impact to the banks is less when they use the stairs.

Reach Kat Sorensen at

More in News

In this Aug. 26, 2020, file photo, U.S. Rep. Don Young, an Alaska Republican, speaks during a ceremony in Anchorage, Alaska. The longest-serving Republican in the U.S. House is appearing in a new round of ads urging Alaskans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Ads featuring Young are being paid for by the Conquer COVID Coalition, Young spokesperson Zack Brown said by email Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Young urges vaccination in new ads

Young, 88, “believes the vaccines are safe, effective and can help save lives.”

A portable sign on the Sterling Highway advertises a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinaton booster clinic held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
What you need to know about boosters

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility explained

Damage in a corner on the inside of the middle and high school building of Kachemak Selo School Nov. 12, 2019, in Kachemak Selo, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Repair costs rise as school facilities deteriorate

About $420 million worth of maintenance is needed at Kenai Peninsula Borough School District buildings.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell (center) presents Wildlife Trooper Laura Reid (left) with a Life-Saving Award for her efforts in rescuing a child from the Kenai River offshore of North Kenai Beach this summer, during a ceremony held by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Oct. 13, 2021. Reid and Kenai River dipnetter Antoine Aridou (far right) rescued the 12-year-old on July 29, 2021. (Photo provided by the Office of the Governor)
Governor recognizes dipnetter, trooper for summer rescue

Wildlife Trooper Laura Reid received a Life-Saving Award and Antoine Aridou received a Governor’s Commendation.

COVID-19 (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 3 more COVID deaths, more than 900 cases

The newly reported deaths push Alaska’s total to 594 COVID fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

In this July 1908 photograph provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear sits at anchor while on Bering Sea Patrol off Alaska. The wreckage of the storied vessel, that served in two World Wars and patrolled frigid Arctic waters for decades, has been found, the Coast Guard said Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office via AP)
Coast Guard: Wreck found in Atlantic is storied cutter Bear

The ship performed patrols in waters off Alaska for decades.

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

Most Read