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Timeline for formation of the Kenai Peninsula Borough

by Dave Carey, Borough Mayor January 4, 2009 to Kenai Historic Society

1956 Alaska State Constitution Written at U.A.F.

01/03/59 Alaska Admitted in the Union as 49th State.

1961 1st Borough Bill passed and signed by Governor Egan

“current special districts last until July 1, 1963”.

02/61 * League of Kenai Peninsula Chambers of Commerce

First meeting in Homer, favored passage.

Representatives from Homer, Seward, Soldotna.

Under aegis of Local Affairs Agency (LAA) and

The Local Boundary Commission (LBC).

04/62 Meeting at Riverside House Soldotna. Whole Borough to be included. Dr. J. B. Deisher to head the Borough Study Group under aegis the LBC.

Neutral site for Borough government discussed, five acre site in Tustumena offered by former legislator Alan Peterson. Names for government center: Kenaitze, Progress, Cook Inlet and Tustumena.

* Homer working on exclusive petition for south peninsula. Ninilchik adamantly opposed.

05/62 * Study group recommends creation of Kenai Peninsula Borough as Second Class Borough by 6-5 vote.

* Legislature takes no action.

April 63 Formation meeting held in Ninilchik, Homer, Anchor Point and Soldotna.

04/05/63 Meeting at Riverside House in Soldotna chaired by Paul Choquette of Homer. Charlie Griffin, Vice-Chair of new Kenai Peninsula Study Group. Director of LAA Chase reports Borough Bill’s passage was imminent.

* Kenai Municipal Council passes resolution supporting Homer’s bid for their own Borough.

* Seward Meridian or Seward Baseline Borough discussed.

04/06/63 * Meeting in Homer. Ben Walters gave history for Homer or South Peninsula Borough. Mr. Quencey Benton provided financial information. Bonnie Thompson and Arlene Kranich spoke in favor of Homer Borough.

Speaking against: Barbara Banta, Ed Rofkar and Robert Palmer of Ninilchik, Harold Pomeroy of Bear Cove and John Waterman of Homer.

* Mrs. Donnis Thompson of Nikiski adamantly in favor of small, less intrusive government. Homer idea ok.

04/mid/63 2nd Borough Bill, CS for House Bill No. 90, passed and signed by Governor Egan, directed that on Jan. 1, 1964 Borough to be formed.

04/20/63 Meeting in Soldotna attended by citizens from all over. Frank Mullen moved to let State set boundaries.

Table motion failed 24-27. Motion passed 31-24.

04/28/62 Meeting at Riverside House in Soldotna. Over 100 attended. LAA Director Cease attends.

05/63 Group of Kenai citizens file petition for First Class Borough to include only Kenai, North Kenai (Nikiski), Soldotna, Sterling, Kasilof and Tustumena.

05/63 Both Homer Borough and Northwestern Borough petitions rejected by state LBC for lack of signatures.

Call for vote on LBC’s Kenai Peninsula Borough on December 3, 1963.

* Injunction sought by Frank Mullen of Soldotna and Benjamin O. Waters of Homer to halt election. They were represented by Ted Stevens. Denied.

Nominations, by petition (50), due by November 2.

(JFK Assassinated Nov. 22nd)

Election on December 3, 1963; Borough 1st or 2nd , Chairman, Assembly, School Board.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough was incorporated in 1964 as a second-class borough under the authority of the State of Alaska Borough Act of 1961. The Borough's governmental responsibilities are comparable to those of a county. The five first-class and home-rule cities in the borough are Kenai, Soldotna, Homer, Seldovia, and Seward. Other locally governed communities include Kachemak City and the native villages of Tyonek, Port Graham, and Nanwalek.


The Kenai Peninsula Borough lies directly south of Anchorage, the State's principal population center. The waters of the Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound border the borough on the south and east with the dramatic Chigmit Mountains of the Alaska Range rimming the borough to the west. The Cook Inlet divides the borough into two land masses. The peninsula itself encompasses 99 percent of the borough's population and most of the development. The Kenai Mountains run north and south through the peninsula, contrasting to the lowlands lying to their west. The west side of the Inlet is sparsely inhabited, with the village of Tyonek being the largest populated settlement. The boundaries of the borough encompass a total of 25,600 square miles, of which 15,700 square miles are land. In comparison, the total land mass of the borough equals that of Massachusetts and New Jersey combined. However, the total borough population is less than 1/400th of that same area.

Overview Map of KPB

Kenai Peninsula Borough Calendar