City of Soldotna

 

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.

 

 


 

How active a voice should Soldotna’s mayor have? That was a question for debate at Wednesday night’s city council meeting.

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.


 

A proposed ballot measure could change the role of Soldotna’s mayor. Council member Linda Murphy will introduce an ordinance this week to put a question before voters to change the city’s charter, and allow the mayor a vote on the council.

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.

Soldotna Chamber of Commerce

A new visitor’s center in Soldotna is edging a bit closer to reality. The chamber of commerce has long sought a new location for a convention and visitor’s center.

The Soldotna city council will vote for one of two candidates to fill a recently-vacated council seat when it meets Wednesday.

 

The Soldotna city council voted to ban single-use disposable plastic bags at its meeting Wednesday night. There was little pushback on what has been, in other corners of the peninsula, a controversial issue.

 


 

 

The city of Soldotna could join the list of Alaska communities that have banned plastic shopping bags. An ordinance to do just that will be introduced at the March 28th council meeting.

 

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.

CES and KPB

Central Emergency Services in Soldotna is hoping to be a little less centrally located by building a new Station 1 on a larger lot with more room to grow.


 

The city of Soldotna has drafted a letter in response to the Kenai River Special Mangement Area board’s own letter to the state offering its opinion on turbidity issues on the Kenai river.

Libraries used to be quiet as mausoleums, with people shuffling quietly from the card catalog, to the stacks, to a straight-backed wooden chair at a table to read under harsh fluorescent lights. Stern librarians would peer over their glasses and give a “shush” at any sound.

Not so much any more.

“Libraries are not quiet any more. And there are some people who are kinda upset about that sometimes,” says Kenai Library Director Mary Jo Joiner. 

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?”

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.