Web posted Thursday, April 4, 2002

Borough paves way for McNeil Canyon station

by Hal Spence
Morris News Service-Alaska

The Kachemak Bay Emergency Service Area this week took a step closer to establishing a new fire station when the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly voted unanimously to reclassify 4.3 acres near McNeil Canyon for government use.

The move opens the way for eventual construction of the first of four planned stations within the service area.

Service area board member Mary Griswold told the Assembly the location was a logical choice for several reasons. For one thing, she said, nearby McNeil Canyon Elementary School is an unsprinklered building that would benefit by having a fire response facility close by.

The location atop a rise makes responding to East End locations a downhill trip in both directions, a factor that will decrease response times because it is easier to haul water downhill, she said.

The surrounding land includes the school, a borough waste-transfer site, livestock grazing fields, residential housing and undeveloped land.

Other factors supporting the location near the intersection of Ashwood Avenue and East End Road include its adequate size and easy access to the main road.

Meanwhile, Griswold will soon step down from her membership on the KESA board because she now lives in the city of Homer. Her neighborhood was annexed.

Another 5.52 acres was reclassified for government use near Nikolaevsk Village within the Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Service Area. The service area wants to house emergency equipment there to better serve the Nikolaevsk and North Fork Road areas. The acreage is located near Nikolaevsk Elementary School, residential housing and commercial businesses at the corner of Nikolaevsk Road and Kostino Street. The land was purchased by the borough for the purpose in 2000 for $11,300.

In other business, the Assembly voted 6-3 to override Mayor Dale Bagley's veto of Resolution 2002-030, which supported creation of a long-range fiscal plan by the Alaska Legislature this session. Bagley had vetoed the measure saying there is no clear definition of "long-range plan" and what that would entail. The Assembly said the message to state lawmakers from the Assembly was important.

Hal Spence is a reporter for the Peninsula Clarion.