The Kenai Peninsula Borough is activating its emergency preparedness plan and team in response to the new coronavirus. Some borough meetings have been postponed and some borough buildings and offices have been barred from the public.
All service board meetings, advisory planning commission meetings and anadromous waters habitat protection group meetings are postponed until further notice.
Tuesday’s assembly meeting will be held at its regular time, 6 p.m., at the assembly chambers in Soldotna, however, the borough is asking residents to help limit the number of people gathering at the meeting.
“We’re asking you to help us by staying home if at all possible,” a Monday announcement from the borough said.
For residents wanting to participate in the meeting from home, the borough recommends tuning into the meeting through the public radio station KDLL FM 91.9. Comments can be submitted to the clerk through “eComment,” which can be found through the borough’s website.
The borough clerk is determining legal ways to conduct public meetings using alternative methods. Future meetings will be noticed and include descriptions for how the public can access and participate if physical locations are temporarily closed.
Mayor Charlie Pierce has put his Continuity of Operations Plan into action. The plan limits public access to ensure employee safety while also “making every effort” to maintain government services to the public. The borough is asking residents for help in this plan, too.
All borough fire and emergency service departments, including the Office of Emergency Management administrative offices, are closed to the public, a Monday statement from the borough said. Medical treatment and fire services will continue to be provided.
All volunteer firefighter training, community emergency response team training, borough-sponsored workshops and activities are suspended until further notice.
This public closure includes Anchor Point Fire & EMS, Bear Creek Fire, Central Emergency Services, Kachemak Emergency Services, and Nikiski Fire.
The borough is asking residents to call or email the borough for assistance in borough-related business, to limit the risk of exposure.
“The administration fully supports the prevention measures being implemented throughout the borough. Alaskans are resilient in times of adversity,” Pierce said in a Monday statement from the borough. “Let’s do our part and practice the CDC guidance to slow the possible spread of infection on the Kenai Peninsula. Please take every precaution to care for yourself and loved ones.”
The Nikiski Fire Department will continue to provide potable water to area residents, the statement said. Residents should notice new directional signage and instructions from attending staff.
The borough’s administrative building will offer limited public access. Visitors are asked to conduct business through phone and email.
Borough solid waste facilities will continue to be open to the public during normal operating hours. Borough-owned roads will continue to be maintained.