The popularity of Soldotna Creek Park, with its music stage and ample room for vendors and fans, is evident to anyone who’s tried to find a parking spot in the vicinity on a Wednesday evening.
Some nearby businesses welcome off-hour use of their lots for park events, but Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen says others would rather not, and as such, the city is helping them out.
“We're really aware and actively engaged in coming up with solutions around the overflow parking that happens downtown now several times of each summer," she said. "And I wanted to let folks know that our parks department in particular, we help out with additional signage that we offer to businesses who want to maintain their private parking for their own customers as opposed to overflow parking for the park.”
She said she has been meeting with business owners over the issue.
“It’s not a large number of business owners, but some, and one in particular that's most impacted, we will help out with signage. We've also got some parks employees who are donning the bright yellow vests for these first couple of events and helping the public understand where public parking is available," she said. "So for example, we open up on-street parking on Birch, and we've got a couple of our employees that are in the area, helping direct people the right place to try and deal with that and help everyone safely get to where they need to go, and also respect the private property owners.”
In other Soldotna city news, Queen reported to the council that she toured the City of Kenai’s animal shelter. The twin cities are close to implementing a deal that would see Soldotna strays going to the Kenai Animal Shelter.
“I think Soldotna animals would be very happy there. Well run, clean, nice facility. The city of Kenai council will be considering action on the shared services agreement that we've drafted, the two municipalities," she said. "I believe that their meeting on the 19th and we would then bring that agreement to our city council the following week. So on June 26, the Soldotna council will be able to consider that and make a decision on animal shelter services.”
The Soldotna City Council meeting on June 26 will be the last meeting on Wednesdays, as the council is moving its meetings to Thursdays. Likewise, the Soldotna Planning and Zoning Commission is moving its Wednesday meetings to Tuesday starting in July.