Voices of the Peninsula: Soldotna focuses areas for annexation study

Voices of the Peninsula: Soldotna focuses areas for annexation study

  • By Mark Dixson
  • Saturday, October 24, 2015 6:24pm
  • Opinion

The City of Soldotna continues to consider the expansion of our municipal boundaries very carefully. Over the years, our Comprehensive Plans have consistently reflected the need for an annexation analysis. The question of whether to move forward has never been resolved. The reasons that caused the City to first consider annexation back in the late 1970’s still exist today — rapid growth outside the City boundaries which causes added pressure on City resources, and limited available, developable properties within the city for those desiring to be within our boundaries.

Earlier this year, the City Council authorized a contract with Northern Economics to assist the City in analyzing areas which meet certain annexation criteria, and then evaluate the costs and benefits associated with providing city services to those areas.

In analyzing these areas, great care was taken to exclude specific neighborhoods, agricultural lands, and other areas due to prior public comment and the area demographics. The focus of the study was limited to areas that are potentially critical to the City’s goals of continuing to provide high-quality services for the community in a cost-efficient and sustainable way.

To that end, the areas referenced on the attached map were selected for the study because they have one or more of the following characteristics:

— Areas where residents and businesses are already receiving city services, such as water and/or sewer utilities, or where extension of utilities can be reasonably achieved or anticipated;

— Existing or potential commercial highway corridors or nodes near the City, whose development has the potential to erode the city’s sales tax base;

— Undeveloped or under-developed areas which may benefit from city services and standards prior to residential, commercial, or other development; and

— Areas where health and safety issues may exist or where a request has been received by the city to offer services not available in the Borough.

Simply being in an area evaluated in the economic study does not mean the property will be annexed into the city. The study is intended to provide additional details and information to the City Council to further define the economic cost/benefit impact and analysis.

The results of the economic analysis are expected to be complete by April 2016, and will be shared with the City Council and the public. At that point, the city plans to engage the community in a dialogue about the results, and determine whether Council has any interest in further pursuing annexation.

Anyone interested in further information about the study is encouraged to contact John Czarnezki, City Planner, at 714-1246 or visit the City’s website at www.Soldotna.org/annexation for current information and updates.

Mark Dixson is Soldotna’s city manager.

More in Opinion

A copy of the State of Alaska Official Ballot for the June 11, 2022, Special Primary Election is photographed on May 2, 2022. (Peninsula Clarion staff)
Choosing a candidate – Who will best represent us in D.C.?

Voters are encouraged to do homework before casting a vote

Tourists watch as one of two cubs belonging to an 18-year-old sow black bear crosses the path between groups of tourists visiting the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Tourists have pushed us to critical mass in parts of Juneau

I don’t go to the glacier in the summer now to hike or watch bears.

Sens. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, left, and Robert Myers, R-North Pole, read through one of 41 amendments submitted to the state’s omnibus budget bill being debate on the floor of the Alaska State Senate on Monday, May 9, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Opinion: The Alaska Senate’s foolish gamble

“All these conservative people just spent all our money”

Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships. (logo provided)
Point of View: A few ideas for Mental Health Awareness Month

What are some things you can practice this month and subsequently apply to your life?

Alex Koplin is a founding member of Kenai Peninsula Votes. (courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: 1 candidate dined, 47 to go

By Alex Koplin Last month, I wrote a satirical piece for the… Continue reading

Smoke from the Swan Lake Fire impairs visibility on the Sterling Highway on Aug. 20, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Alaskans should prepare for wildfire season

Several past large fire seasons followed snowy winters or unusually rainy springs

The logo of the Homer Trails Alliance.
Point of View: Connecting our community through trails

Homer is booming with housing development and the viability of long-standing trails is threatened

Most Read