Funny River community says ‘no’ to a boat launch

The Kenai River is the lifeline of this community.

An open letter to Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce:

A majority of Funny River residents are opposed to a Boat Launch on our side of the river! A group of seasonal residents have been very vocal proclaiming that “all” of Funny River would like to see such a development, however, this is not the case.

Several years ago when navigating through a public process with the Alaska State Parks, the majority of the Funny River community spoke out very clearly that they did NOT want to support a boat launch and more public access to the river.

The borough mayor chose to listen only to a small group of individuals regarding this issue. A select few individuals want a boat launch.

When the opposing group asked to be heard you chose not to listen, but to say you were only gathering information; you then sponsored a resolution with the Borough Assembly in support of more river access without hearing the opposing side. The opposing group has asked no more than to be practical and do what is best for the Funny River Community and the Kenai River.

Funny River Road and its wooden bridge cannot handle more boat traffic. The narrow bridge is a challenge for two cars meeting; adding more boats and trailers compounds the risk.

The solid waste station can barely deal with the local trash as it is. Fire and ambulance service is trying desperately to provide service just for what exists at the present and intentionally adding more stress to our safety resources would be very poor judgment on our part and add to the situation.

Residents and neighbors to the Kenai River do not want to create more stress and damage to the river. The Kenai River is the lifeline of this community and anyone who values this resource would be highly negligent if they supported more bank use or access to the river. What is presently available is adequate.

If users of the river complain about driving 10-17 miles to launch their boat then so be it. The same residents chose to live in Funny River and drive that same distance to go to work, buy groceries and go to appointments. NO; Mayor Pierce, 97% of Funny River does not want to create more river access and a boat launch. Thank you for hearing the “rest” of the Funny River Residents!

— Marilyn Pitts, on behalf of the residents of the Funny River community opposed to boat launch and river access

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