Bud Cassidy

Borough manager Bud Cassidy speaks during the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly meeting on July 3. (Julie Herrmann photo)

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly has approved a contract with Island Trails Network for improvements to the Saltery Cove and Portage Bay trails.

During a special meeting Thursday, the assembly also declared the Planning and Zoning Commission seat previously held by Jennifer Richcreek as vacant.

The borough received a grant for just more than $200,000 as part of the Coastal Impacts Assistance Program, said borough manager Bud Cassidy.

“It’s money that coastal communities receive from the federal government from oil and gas tax receipts,” Cassidy said. “And it can be used for habitat improvement and the project that was identified was trying to improve the road out to Saltery Pass and sort of limit some of the damage that has occurred out there.”

Cassidy said both trails receive a lot of recreational use.

“The idea is to do the kind of things that have been done other places on the island, it’s called harden the trails either with a geoblock (plastic grating) or maybe with a bridge,” Cassidy said.

ITN was the lone bidder on the project. The contract with ITN is for $200,000 with the remaining $8,540 of the grant for contingency funds and borough staff time.

“We will be working with them to identify the priority areas as well as give us an idea of through their experience what they think works best there,” Cassidy said. “We’re relying on their expertise to help us finalize this project.”

In other business, the assembly declared Richcreek’s seat vacant in order to begin advertising for a replacement.

According to Richcreek’s resignation letter, she is moving to Anchorage, which means she won’t be able to finish out her term.

Borough staff will soon begin advertising the open position in order to find someone to fill the seat.

Julie Herrmann is a staff reporter at the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Contact her at 486-3227 ext. 627.

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