annexation

        The annexation debate surrounding the city of Soldotna is now in the hands of the state legislature and Local Boundary Commission.

The city council voted unanimously last (Thurs) night to approve an ammended annexation plan and direct the city manager to submit it to the state for consideration.

City Hall was again filled with potential Soldotna citizens decrying the annexation process as unfair and suggesting last night's vote be further postponed because of next week's municipal elections and the recent death of Mayor Nels Anderson.

    At its meeting tonight (Thursday), the Soldotna City Council will have a final vote on submitting an annexation plan to the state. But before they do, the council members will be asked to consider a substitute resolution.

The submission vote was scheduled for two weeks ago, but the weight of public comment prompted a delay to incorporate suggested changes.

However, a substitute resolution being proposed by Councilman Tim Cashman goes even further, and removes Areas 4 and 5 from the annexation plan, reducing the area annexed from 3.78 square miles to 2.6.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Three candidates are running for two seats on the Soldotna City Council. The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum Wednesday, with a wide-ranging set of questions. 

Lisa Parker is running unopposed for reelection to her seat. She is president of Parker Horn Company, a consulting firm, and previously worked for Apache, Inc. and Agrium. She served on the council in the 2000s and was elected again in 2016.

Dave Carey and Pamela Parker are vying for the other seat.

City of Soldotna

As the city of Soldotna nears the end of its annexation process, the council listened to public testimony Saturday at Soldotna High School on its proposal to add roughly 3.8 square miles to city limits.

Nearly 100 people attended the meeting and about three dozen testified. The most common comment was the sense of unfairness that people in the proposed areas do not get a chance to vote on the matter.

Brian Olson lives outside the proposed annexation areas but has been a vocal opponent from the start.

“It appalls me that in this day and age the Soldotna Council, who do not represent folks living outside the city limits, can annex land without the explicit consent of the residents and businesses,” Olson said. “Borough residents have zero representation on the city council but will have their property rights and lines forever changed.”

On this week's Econ 919, we visit with Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen about the city's proposal to expand its boundaries by about 3.8 square miles through annexation.

Correction: The annexation public hearing is being held at 2 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Soldotna High School auditorium.

Information on Soldotna's annexation petition can be found on the city's website.

 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly could be offering some opinion on annexation proceedings in Soldotna when it meets next.

 

The city of Soldotna has looked at expanding its footprint at various times over the years. The most recent effort goes back almost two years and has potential economic implications for residents, businesses and the city.

 

 


Annexation may have been one of the hot topics over the past couple years in Soldotna, but there's a lot more going on. This week, we talk with city manager Stephanie Queen about everything from partnering with the city of Kenai on infrastructure projects to how the city gears up for fishing season. And, of course, the next steps in the process toward potential annexation.


City of Soldotna

 

The Soldotna city council signed off on the final map it will have the state consider for potential annexation at its meeting Wednesday.

 

 


Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

The Soldotna city council held a work session to mull over options for annexation Wednesday afternoon. The city has been working to get a petition together for the state for the past few years, but there’s still work to do to get a map more people can agree on.

 

 


 

Any effort to grow the city of Soldotna will have to wait at least a few more weeks. The council voted to postpone a vote on a resolution that would advance the annexation process at its meeting Wednesday night.

City of Soldotna

As Soldotna continues to gather information regarding expanding its city limits, it has brought on an Outside consultant to help. Megan Picard, with the Athena Group near Denver, says most of the input so far has been from outside the city.