Soldotna City Council

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.”

Golf balls flying over the Sterling Highway out side of Birch Ridge Golf Course in Soldotna has become a problem for a nearby resident. Robert Pope brought some he’s collected this summer as a visual aid while addressing the city council Thursday night.
“This is just a small collection of balls that I have collected a hundred and 20 feet from the borderline of the Sterling Highway this summer,” he said to the sound of a bucket of them rolling on the table. “I have a lot.”
Pope said he’s had to dodge the golf balls, and some have caused property damage.

It’s been a busy July in Soldotna, with full campgrounds and music in the park causing the expected traffic snarls. At last week’s city council meeting, Soldotna Public Works Director Kyle Kornelis updated the council on the street situation.

City of Soldotna

  People with mobility issues have long had trouble reaching the upper levels of the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, as it has no elevator. But that will soon change.

The Soldotna City Council last week authorized the city manager to waive the formal bidding process and enter into a contract with Alaska Stairlift and Elevator company of Anchorage for the installation of an inclined platform lift.

Councilman Paul Whitney asked Public Works Director Kyle Kornelis about the actual equipment, wondering what kind of lift it will be.

Starting in July, the day the Soldotna City Council meets will change from its usual Wednesday to Thursdays. 

Councilman Tim Cashman proposed the change at last week’s regular meeting. 

“When the Levitt Amp (concert series) came out this year and we’ve gotten all those super nice Wednesday nights, that I started thinking of the family members enjoying the park during our very short summers,” he said, adding it'd be nice to join them.

Trying to find a way for a builder to put up a company sign in a rural residential neighborhood took up about a third of Wednesday night’s Soldotna City Council meeting, and the issue remains unresolved. The issue, however, could lead to more than a re-zoning of a few lots.

Homebuilder Clint Hall had petitioned the council to rezone several lots amounting to about 12 acres to limited commercial so that he could advertise model log homes. Business signs can be displayed in a rural residential zone, but they must be under a certain size.

City of Soldotna

 

Like so many municipalities around the state, the Soldotna city council approved a resolution at its meeting Wednesday night asking the legislature and the governor take another look at his budget proposal.

 

A lot of commercial expansion has happened near the intersection of the Spur and Sterling highways in Soldotna the past few years. And more is on the way.

Soldotna City Council members will be allowed to participate in twice as many meetings by remote dial-in under a resolution passed Wednesday night.

Sponsored by Councilman Tyson Cox, the measure bumps the number of times a council member can join a meeting via teleconference from three to six.

“And I just thought this would give more opportunity for people to have a voting say in meetings even if they can’t be there”

A decision on using fines to enforce good in-car video-screen practices among parents picking up kids at school has been postponed.

Action on an ordinance heard on Wednesday was put off at the request of the measure’s sponsor, Councilman Jordan Chilson.

There was no public left at the city council meeting when the time came for the scheduled public hearing, though a short-handed council did debate the utility of fining drivers.

Chilson said a new law now allows municipalities to regulate screen use in school zones.

 

Even without all six members present Wednesday night, the Soldotna city council narrowly voted against a resolution opposing the statewide ballot measure one.

 

 


Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

The city council races in Soldotna aren’t as competitive as the race in Kenai. Three candidates are running for three seats.

 

 


City of Soldotna

 

The city of Soldotna is tightening down its rules for mobile vendors operating in city limits.

While the Alaska general election candidate slate will be set on Tuesday, the ballot denizens for the Oct. 2 Kenai Peninsula municipal elections were finalized at 5 p.m. last (Wednesday) night.

And despite always vital and sometimes contentious and divisive debates on the assembly, the people in the districts served by two incumbents have not put forth challengers.

Brent Hibbert of Soldotna and Kenn Carpenter of Seward will run alone for re-election.

The filing window for residents interested in serving on local city councils, assemblys, and boards has opened. Candidate filing and nomination packets are available now until August 15 for those interested in running for office.

There are two seats available on the Kenai City Council and three on the Soldotna Council.

The Soldotna City Council Wednesday night heard some good news about the Three Friends Dog Park. The news was welcome after vandals spread broken glass in the fenced off area recently.

Upgrades have been done and more will be coming thanks to contributions, cash and otherwise, from several organizations, which park booster Connie Hawker said would be acknowledged at the park on a sign.

The Soldotna City Council got a look at a new way to consider their community’s long-term infrastructure planning. It’s through a long-range planning document that sets out overlapping timelines and budgets. 

 

The Soldotna city council will soon have a vacancy. Keith Baxter will resign at the end of the month from Seat F, which he has held since last November.

At last week’s regular meeting, the Soldotna City Council made a fundamental change to how city hall and the Soldotna city government is structured. The council moved oversight of the city clerk from the city manager to the city council.

As Councilwoman Linda Murphy, a one-time Alaska Clerk of the Year herself, explains, a city Soldotna’s size should be structured in this manner.

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.

Creative Commons

  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?”

The Soldotna City Council received its quarterly report from the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce at its meeting last Wednesday night. Executive Director Shannon Davis said traffic through the Soldotna Visitors Center was down this past season.

Soldotna Chamber of Commerce

As part of her report to the Soldotna City Council Wednesday night, Shannon Davis of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce announced scaled-back plans for the long-awaited new visitor center.