Kodiak Daily Mirror - Skate fans grind council
Skate fans grind council
by Drew Herman
Apr 28, 2014 | 259 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A long roster of citizens appeared at the Kodiak City Council’s regular meeting Thursday to speak on behalf of the skate park in Baranof Park.

Sporting goods store owner and skating advocate Jeremiah Gardener led the charge, describing backers’ frustrated attempts to get approval for donated labor to make improvements.

The city turned down the offer due to liability concerns, and a current plan calls for $130,000 to pay for pre-fabricated features. Of that, $30,000 is left over from the purchase and installation of artificial turf.

“It’s a place for individual self-improvement and challenge,” Gardener said.

Many parents echoed his remarks.

“I think the money is well spent if it’s put into the skate park,” Jill Bunting said.

“It appeared to be the most used facility in the area,” Kim Bunch said.

A number of people also called in to the meeting to voice their support, but poor connections made their testimony mostly unintelligible.

Some young skaters spoke on their own behalf, with Gavin Fitzgerald telling the council he and his friends would be less tempted to skate downtown if the park were repaired.

Noting the subject was not on the agenda for that meeting, Mayor Pat Branson thanked those who testified.

“We will make sure it does get on the agenda,” she said.

Ice skaters will have to pay to use the Baranof Park Ice Rink next season under a resolution passed by the council. City manager Aimée Kniaziowski said a nominal fee would bring the rink in line with other publicly-owned facilities, such as the Kodiak Community Pool and the Kodiak Teen Center.

The council also passed to second reading an agreement to lease a 17,700 square-foot lot on Near Island to the Afognak Native Corporation for $11,000 per years. The corporation wants to preserve the channel view from the new headquarters on an adjacent lot and would not build on the leased land.

Council members voted to award the Monashka Bay pump house project construction contract to Arctic Slope Regional Corporation SKW Eskimos for $1.2 million. Kniaziowski said ASRC’s bid was the lower of the two the city received, which both exceeded the engineer’s estimate.

Management of the project will go to Anchorage based firm CH2M Hill for $194,000, and the council approved a sole-source contract for $58,000 for piping with H.D. Fowler of Bellevue, Wash.

The next phase of the Aleutian Homes water and sewer replacement, primarily along Thorsheim Street, will be carried out by Brechan Enterprises for about $3 million.

Deputy harbormaster Lon White has accepted an offer to replace current harbormaster Marty Owen, who steps down as head of the city-owned waterfront operations on May 10. A reception in Owen’s honor will be held May 9 at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center.

Also leaving the city employment rolls next month are finance director Mary Munk and parks and recreation director Charlie Powers.

Kniaziowski, Branson and council member John Whiddon visit Washington, D.C., this week to lobby for Kodiak projects. The city council will hold its annual budget session Saturday, May 10, at KSMSC.

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