The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Annette Shacklett
LOG Editor 

City looking cleaner, tidier

Downtown lights being fixed

 


Seward is looking cleaner and tidier these days. Hulk vehicles are hauled away, messy looking yards are cleaned up and abandoned buildings secured.

City of Seward administration started working on the cleanup late this summer and contracted with local attorney Bruce Stanford to take on the project, City Manager Jim Hunt told The LOG.

“I’ve worked with several communities on this sort of thing,” he said. “And once it takes root, communities keep it going. One community I worked with is going on 15 years.”

About 40 letters went out to owners whose property wasn’t in line with city code and then things started looking better around town.

Stanford arranged for inoperative vehicles to be hauled off and crushed free of charge. Abandoned buildings were boarded up and yards cleaned up.

Agreements have been made with property owners to do things like fixing facades of buildings downtown or razing abandoned homes. Some of the results won’t be seen until spring.

“We want this to work amiably. We want it to work in a friendly, gentle way,” Hunt said. It’s not about handing out citations, it’s about working cooperatively to make the community look nicer, he said.

The city takes into account the age, physical ability and financial ability of the property owner, and works with them to find a solution like involving a service group to help if need be.

Next summer Seward Parks and Recreation, which tends to many of the city-owned properties, will be making sure that the lots are mowed and groomed. Hunt has talked with Alaska Department of Transportation about ensuring that areas along the Seward Highway are mowed and groomed. Property owners will be asked to keep alders and brush cut down to 8 inches or less.

Downtown Lighting

In a separate project with a similar goal – brightening downtown and making it more friendly – the globe lights that are out are on their way to being fixed. Each of the 20-some burned-out lights needs a new ballast, which have been ordered, said Hunt. The replacement should be accomplished in the next few weeks and should coincide with the installation of holiday lights.

At first the city was going to order about 35 of the ballasts so there would be some on hand, but has cancelled the extra 15. City administration is now looking at replacing them with LED lights, which are far less costly to operate.

 

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