Homer Alaska - Opinion

Story last updated at 4:06 PM on Wednesday, July 18, 2012

City-led process to get gas to residents in best interest of community


At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we encourage residents to accept City Manager Walt Wrede's invitation to get involved in bringing natural gas to Homer and Kachemak City. We also hope Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center members will act on the chamber's call to send a quick email to Homer City Council members in support of a city-led process to provide natural gas to all of Homer.

The council talks again about the issue on Monday. Among the issues to be discussed is a resolution authorizing the initiation of a special assessment district in which natural gas would be distributed.

Why is it important for the council to hear from you?

We believe that most Homer residents see the natural gas line as part of the solution to what ails Homer: the high cost of doing business and the high cost of living.

It's common sense that the city is in the best position to give residents access to gas more quickly and more cheaply than if individual households and businesses had to work directly with Enstar to get gas.

But because a city-led approach is common sense, we fear supporters will think it's a done deal and won't get involved. If that happens, naysayers could delay the process.

Let's not let that happen. Businesses and families in the Homer area need some financial relief. Lowering fuel costs isn't a cure-all for a sluggish economy (not to mention a mediocre fishing year), but it sure won't hurt.

Yes, residents will pay some upfront costs, but as Wrede put it: Do you want to pay Enstar up front and in full for the gas distribution system or should the city finance the system by providing easy terms for businesses and residents?

A city-led process is in the best interest of Homer residents and businesses. Let council members know. You can send a quick email to all of them simply by writing to clerk@ci.homer.ak.us.