Pratt Museum, Senior Center Among Winners In State Capital Budget

Aaron Selbig

     Governor Sean Parnell signed a $12.8 billion state budget package Wednesday, issuing no vetoes and saying he was proud of the work that he and lawmakers had done. The budget includes funding for many capital projects on the Kenai Peninsula.

     Parnell signed the 2015 budget into law at a meeting of the Anchorage Rotary Club Wednesday. He said lawmakers worked to reduce general fund spending from $8 billion in 2013 to about $7 billion this year and $5.9 billion for the coming fiscal year as part of the operating and capital budgets.

     This is the first time in Parnell’s tenure as governor that he has not vetoed a single project out of the capital budget. When asked about that Wednesday, he credited the legislature for staying within the spending limit he set out for them.

     The capital budget contains several big ticket projects for the Kenai Peninsula. In Homer, there is $1.4 million for road improvements to Waddell Way, $900,000 for a new Pratt Museum building and $100,000 for natural gas conversion at the Homer Senior Center, among other projects.

     The budget has $15,000 in it for planning a new library in Anchor Point, $45,000 for a new police vehicle in Seldovia and $50,000 for a new emergency building in Kachemak-Selo.

     The City of Kenai will get $400,000 for a new fire engine, as well as $200,000 for upgrades to the water treatment plant. $1.2 million is earmarked for a roof replacement at the Soldotna Sports Complex, as well as $24,000 for improvements to sidewalks and street-lighting in Soldotna.