Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/11/2002 10:30 AM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                                                                                                                                
           HB 165-KENAI RIVER SPECIAL MANAGEMENT AREA                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN JOHN TORGERSON called the Senate Resources Committee                                                                 
meeting to order  at 10:30 a.m. and announced HB 165  to be up for                                                              
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEN  LANCASTER,  sponsor,  said  the  Kenai  River                                                              
special  management  area  group  that  manages  the  Kenai  River                                                              
corridor started holding public meetings  in 1997 regarding adding                                                              
more state-owned property  into the management area.  As a result,                                                              
the group  came up with an  additional 7,900 acres, which  was the                                                              
amount  in the  original bill.  In the  course of  the last  year,                                                              
there  has been  some concern  about relicensing  the Cooper  Lake                                                              
hydroelectric   project  by  FERC.   Therefore,  he   proposed  an                                                              
amendment  in the  last committee  to take  out land  on the  Snug                                                              
Harbor Road  on the south side of  Kenai Lake and up  to the Damon                                                              
Firehouse  site on  Kenai  and Cooper  Lake,  which the  committee                                                              
adopted. He noted Chairman Torgerson  has some concerns with other                                                              
properties. He  explained that the  bill now adds about  536 acres                                                              
of EVOS  land on the  lower river between  Kenai and  Soldotna. He                                                              
referred members to a map and asked them to support the bill.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  proposed two amendments. One  would remove all                                                              
lands except for  EVOS lands. The other amendment  would limit the                                                              
membership on  the advisory board  to only citizens  and municipal                                                              
employees. It would  restrict state agency and  federal government                                                              
personnel  from  serving on  the  board. He  asked  Representative                                                              
Lancaster to comment on that.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LANCASTER  said he agrees with the  board provision                                                              
as he sat on  the board for 10 years as the mayor  of Soldotna and                                                              
watched  how it worked.  Some of  the agency  folks were  somewhat                                                              
self-serving  or had  the potential  to be and  sometimes were  in                                                              
conflict when they voted on Kenai River issues.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  asked if the amount  of acreage has  decreased from                                                              
7,900 acres to about 500 acres.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LANCASTER said that is correct.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON noted  the amendment says a majority  of the members                                                              
of the advisory  group shall be residents of the  Kenai Peninsula.                                                              
He  asked why  all  members wouldn't  be  residents  of the  Kenai                                                              
Peninsula.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  replied that some people from  Anchorage serve                                                              
on the board also because, "The Kenai  River is physically located                                                              
in our area, but it's shared with a lot of people of the state."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LANCASTER  said the current  chair of the  Board is                                                              
an Anchorage resident  who owns a large amount of  property on the                                                              
Kenai River.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  asked if  board members have  to be  owners of                                                              
property on the river.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LANCASTER replied that they do not.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON  noted  that  a quorum  was  present:  Senator                                                              
Stevens, Senator Wilken, Senator Elton and himself.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILKEN moved  to  adopt amendment  1,  which reduces  the                                                              
addition of property  to only EVOS-purchased property.  There were                                                              
no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  explained that the second  amendment restricts                                                              
board membership to citizens and municipal employees.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILKEN  moved  to  adopt   amendment  2.  There  were  no                                                              
objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILKEN moved  to pass SCS HB 165(RES)  from committee with                                                              
individual recommendations and its attached fiscal note.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON announced  that  without  objection, the  bill                                                              
moved from committee. He then adjourned  the meeting at 10:38 p.m.                                                              

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