Old Town improvements discussed

Dec 10, 2019

Old Town Kenai.

Ideas for improving Old Town got some discussion amongst the Kenai City Council recently. Councilman Henry Knackstedt said he had recently been told that there are no signs along the Spur Highway advising motorists of Kenai’s historic district.
    “I could see any other town you know if there's a city core Old Town or whatever, it'd be a large sign. I see kind of a brown sign or something that might do that,” Knackstedt said. “And then and then, you know, the more I thought about it, if we got a sign like that once people move into, go to Old Town and the things they have to see down there that they actually have signage that directs them around so we don't have a bunch of confused tourists.”
    “I don't know how many signs there are from Sterling to North Kenai that say ‘Captain Cook Park,’ and you know one here and there that said ‘Old Town’ would be great,” Councilman Robert Peterkin said.
    Knackstedt said that enhancing Old Town and developing a “city core” were goals in the most recent city comprehensive plan that could also enhance businesses in the area.
    “During the last comprehensive plan, people wanted to have a city core, all of that, well, that was kind of like one of them was the OldTown,” Knackstedt said. “You get people down in there, we have we have some businesses down there and I think they could, you know, actually use the traffic as well as is a lot of the other sites that we have down there.”
    Knackstedt also suggested adding scannable links to signs so visitors can learn about the history and the sights on their phones on the spot.
    City Manager Paul Ostrander said another consideration in the Old Town project is better defining its boundaries, and said new names might be considered as well.
    “You know, maybe it should be 'Historical Town Kenai,' or maybe it should be 'Historic Downtown Kenai.' We're not sure what it is, but it could be that something other than ‘Old Town,’ which is what we all call Old Town,” Ostrander said. “Maybe there's something else that we should call it to make it more appealing for folks to come check out. So just kind of think about that as we work through this.”
    Ostrander also said the city administration is working on some concepts to bring back to the city council regarding the signage.