City of Soldotna

Two items on Wednesday night's Soldotna City Council agenda will mark the beginning of the end in legalizing cannabis within city limits. One ordinance limits operations to commercially-zoned areas of the city only, while the other ordinance sets up the framework for taxing the product.

What the ordinances do not do, though, is allow any commercial growing of marijuana in the city, regardless of zoning.

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  On Wednesday night the Soldotna City Council voted to tack on another 45 days to the city’s prohibition against all things cannabis related.

“Basically what’s happening is we’re trying to figure out what do with marijuana in the city. And this allows us to buy a little bit more time before we have to make a decision,” said Mayor Nels Anderson. “Okay, are there any council comments? Seeing none, can we have the vote, please?”

It's municipal election day on the Kenai Peninsula, indeed in most of Alaska. Borough residents, depending on where they live, face a variety of choices on the ballot, however, everyone in the borough will be voting on who will be our new mayor. Three candidates are running: Dale Bagley, Linda Farnsworth Hutchings, and Charlie Pierce are all hoping for 50-percent-plus-one vote to avoid a costly run-off election between the top two vote-getters.

  What began as a church station at Solid Rock Ministries, has, over the course of 50 years, become the Kenai Peninsula's dominant commercial radio group, known by its flagship station, KSRM. On Wednesday night, Soldotna Mayor Pete Sprague proclaimed KSRM Appreciation Day in recognition of the station's longevity:

After about an hour of testimony and debate, the Soldotna City Council took its final vote on an ordinance that would permanently ban the sale or cultivation of cannabis inside city limits.

Councilmembers Tim Cashman, Linda Murphy and Paul Whitney voted in favor of the permanent ban, while Councilmembers Lisa Parker, Regina Daniels and Tyson Cox voted against.

"We have three yes votes and three no votes," said City Clerk Shellie Saner.

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.

On this week's Conversation, host Shaylon Cochran speaks with Stephanie Queen, director of Economic Development and Planning for the city of Soldotna, and Tim Dillon, executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, about what kinds of jobs and industries might be making their way to central peninsula in the future to compliment established industries like fishing and resource development.

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