Econ 919 — How the Kenai Peninsula Works

9:01 a.m. and 5:01 p.m. Fridays
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Econ 919 is a weekly economic report for the Kenai Peninsula from the KDLL News Team.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

It’s been a long and wet winter, but the snow in Southcentral is finally melting.

If you’re in the business of snow removal, like Alex Matiaco, that means it’s the end of your season. After years of plowing for others, he started his own snow removal business this year — K-Beach Plowing.

He's happy with how his season went. By the end of February, Matiaco said, he had 25 contracted clients.

Photo: Redoubt Reporter

Imagine if you could catch a couple salmon and then get your coronavirus vaccine, all without even leaving the beach.

This summer, Kenai’s popular dip-net fisheries might also be public health hubs.

The ground on the central Kenai Peninsula is still buried beneath a thick, albeit shrinking, layer of snow. But the Division of Forestry has already started preparing for this year’s wildfire season, which typically falls between late April and August.

Kyle McNally works at the division’s Soldotna office, as a wildland fire resource technician. He said part of preparing means assessing what the division has at the ready.

Almost a fifth of the $1.9 trillion in the newly approved American Rescue Plan is headed straight to state and local governments.

Most details about how that money will be distributed are still up in the air, said Tim Dillon, executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District. His team helped distribute Alaska CARES funding last year.

He’s not sure whether KPEDD will be playing an official role in distribution this time around. But he says what he does know is cities and boroughs will likely start parsing through their funds next month.

Alaska fisheries more than three miles offshore fall under the purview of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, a group of 11 voting members that makes policy decisions about the federal fisheries off the Alaska coast.

One of those council members is Seward’s Andy Mezirow. He was just appointed to his third three-year term by Gov. Mike Dunelavy. It’ll be his last, due to term limits.