Borough to hold community meetings to gauge local funding priorities

The borough is reviving a practice last conducted in 2018.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough will hold meetings in 11 communities this month to better gauge the peninsula’s capital project priorities heading into the next session of the Alaska Legislature.

That’s according to a memo included with the packet for Tuesday’s borough assembly meeting, in which Borough Clerk Assistant Tamera Ward said the borough is reviving a practice last conducted in 2018. The borough stopped holding community meetings, Ward said, due to a lack of state funding and, then, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the projects included in the list of priorities approved by assembly members for the current fiscal year, which started on July 1, were the replacement of South Peninsula Hospital’s emergency power plant, flood mitigation projects within the Seward Flood Service Area, improvements to the borough’s solid waste transfer sites and boroughwide road improvements.

Ward wrote that the meetings will also be used to discuss projects proposed for funding through the Alaska Community Assistance Program. That program provides state funding for unincorporated communities, to be used for public projects done through a nonprofit organization or tribal group.

In 2021, for example, the state made available just over $426,000 for 27 of the borough’s unincorporated communities. That came out to about $15,500 for each community.

Per the schedule included with assembly members’ Tuesday packet, the borough will hold its first community meeting on Thursday, Sept. 21 with the community of Lowell Point. The meeting will be held at 3 p.m. at the Penny Hardy Community Center. Later that day, a separate meeting will be held in Bear Creek at the Bear Creek Fire Station.

Other meetings are scheduled for the communities of Sterling, Moose Pass, Hope, Cooper Landing, Anchor Point, Kasilof, Clam Gulch, Cohoe, Ninilchik, Funny River, Diamond Ridge, Fox River and Fritz Creek.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at