The sign outside Soldotna City Hall is seen here on July 16, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

The sign outside Soldotna City Hall is seen here on July 16, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s disaster declaration extended to Dec. 31

The resolution originally extended the declaration by 90 days.

The City of Soldotna’s disaster declaration was extended to the end of the year following a unanimous council vote in support at the Oct. 14 meeting.

In addition to activating the city’s response plan, the disaster declaration, which was made on March 19, made Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen “principal executive officer” for the duration of the declaration. After the federal CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, Queen said one of the ways she exercised the authority granted to her by the disaster declaration was to spend funds granted to the city. At the Wednesday meeting, Queen said that the city is still responding to COVID-19 and focusing on using CARES Act funds, which must be spent by Dec. 30.

“We anticipate needing to be in that kind of response mode at least through the next 90 days, which is the effective date of this ordinance,” Queen said.

The resolution originally extended the declaration by 90 days, which Queen said is the maximum amount of time the city council can extend the declaration. That means it would have expired on Jan. 18, 2021, however some didn’t support extending the deadline for so long.

Tamara Miller, who spoke later in the meeting as a representative of the Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association, said that she thinks it is important that the city start moving out of emergency mode and begin thinking about how they will operate without extra funding.

“We just really need to start heading in that direction,” Miller said. “I would just implore you guys to change that or at least to start the conversation of ‘when are we going to quit extending this?’ ”

City Council Members Lisa Parker and Justin Ruffridge said they agreed that it was a good idea for the city to begin looking ahead.

“I also think that there is a responsibility sort of to progress through some of the stages that we will need to be cognizant of as we decide how to proceed out of this,” Ruffridge said, adding that he would support changing the extension.

Council Member Jordan Chilson proposed amending the resolution so that the expiration date more closely aligned with the CARES Act deadline, which would allow Queen to exercise her procurement authority but the declaration wouldn’t need to stretch into next year.

All members who were present at the meeting voted in favor of amending the expiration date and of the resolution as amended.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com

More in News

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
503 new cases; borough positivity rate hits 14.65%

Affected peninsula communities include Kenai, Other North, Soldotna and Seward

In this March 18, 2020 file photo, Thomas Waerner, of Norway, celebrates his win in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska. The world’s most famous sled dog race will go forward in 2021 officials are preparing for every potential contingency now for what the coronavirus and the world might look like in March when the Iditarod starts. It’s not the mushers that worry Iditarod CEO Rob Urbach; they’re used to social distancing along the 1,000 mile trail. The headaches start with what to do with hundreds of volunteers needed to run the race, some scattered in villages along the trail between Anchorage and Nome, to protect them and the village populations. (Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
Virus restrictions lead Norwegian champ to drop Iditarod

“I cannot find a way to get the dogs to Alaska.”

Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, addresses reporters during a Wendesday, March 25, 2020 press conference in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)
First COVID vaccines could arrive in Alaska next month

Pfizer announced their COVID-19 vaccine candidate earlier this month, with Moderna not long after

File
DHSS encourages COVID-positive Alaskans to do their own contact tracing

In a Monday release, DHSS said that surging COVID-19 cases are creating a data backlog

Public input sought on proposed Skilak-area boat launch changes

The public scoping period will last from Dec. 8, 2020 to Jan. 8, 2021

Risk levels
Schools status: Nov. 23

34 KPBSD schools continue to operate 100% remotely through at least Nov. 25

Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, addresses reporters during a Wendesday, March 25, 2020 press conference in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)
State COVID officials brief Soldotna City Council in work session

The council was joined by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink and State Testing Coordinator Dr. Coleman Cutchins

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports more than 4,000 cases this week, 357 on peninsula

The state reported 462 new COVID-19 cases on Friday

Seward junior Lydia Jacoby swims in August 2019 at the Speedo Junior National Championships in Stanford, California. (Photo by Jack Spitser)
Improving through challenging times

Seward junior swimmer Jacoby wins national title at U.S. Open

Most Read