Answers to Common Questions about Central Emergency Services Fire Station #1 Construction Project

  1. What is a bond?
    A bond is a financial tool that government agencies use to raise funds for long-term capital assets. The Borough defines “long- term” as having a lifespan of 20 years or more (buildings, for example). The bonding process requires voter approval in the State of Alaska.

  2. Why use bonds instead of other funding methods?
    Bonds provide funding at low interest rates (low cost of money). Bonds also allow debt issuance at the time they are needed; therefore, issuances can be planned to coincide with anticipated growth and development. This means residents only pay for the capital projects when (and if) bonds are issued.

  3. What will the bond do for the Central Emergency Services Fire Service Area?
    The capital projects associated with this ballot measure includes the relocation and construction of fire station #1. This facility will serve as the primary response station for the Soldotna area, and back-up to the other CES stations. It will also be the headquarters and warehouse for the smaller fire stations in the CES Service Area. This new CES facility will replace the existing station that is undersized for the current and future needs.

  4. What amount is Central Emergency Services asking for in the upcoming election?
    The total bond package of Central Emergency Services Fire Station #1 Construction Project is $16.5 million. This cost will include land preparation, design and engineering, and construction phase.

  5. If approved, does the entire bond capacity of $16.5M have to be utilized?
    No. If the anticipated growth and development does not occur, the Kenai Peninsula Borough is not obligated to issue all the bonds.

  6. How much will the bond cost the average taxpayer?
    Assuming the entire bond measure is utilized ($16.5M), the tax impact of this bond measure is about a .36 mill rate increase, or $36 dollars on $100,000 of property value.

  7. Has any money been set aside for the project?
    $900,000 was approved by the CES Service Area Board and Borough Assembly in July 2019 for the land acquisition purchase. $1M was approved by the CES Service Area Board and Borough Assembly in July 2021 for design and construction of the Station #1 relocation.

  8. Doesn’t Station #1 just serve the City of Soldotna?
    No. While Station #1 is the primary response location for the City of Soldotna, it extends to Mile 104 Sterling highway to the south, to Murwood Dr. on K-Beach Rd. and Forest Ln towards Sterling. It is also the headquarters to four CES substations that serve the unincorporated communities of Ridgeway, Sterling, Kalifornsky, Kasilof, Clam Gulch and Funny River. Meeting the service area needs for ~25,000 residents, not including the summer influx of visitors to state and national forests as well as providing emergency response services on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers. It is the busiest fire station on the Kenai Peninsula, providing ~3,000 responses annually. Additionally, CES supports wildland fire operations to the Alaska Division of Forestry and provides auto-aid to the City of Kenai.

  1. Has Central Emergency Services managed a bond measure in the past?
    Yes. The service area voters approved a $4.4M bond in 2016.

  2. What did Central Emergency Services 2016 bond measure cover?
    The 2016 bond measure allowed for additions to our fire truck and ambulance fleet. The bonds authorized in this measure have been fully utilized.

  3. How do I know the money will be spent as indicated?
    Alaska law requires the Borough to identify what the bond money will be allocated for in the ballot measure. The Borough is required to comply with the ballot or be in violation of Alaska State Law. As with the 2016 bond package, the Borough and CES will provide public updates on the status of the bond funds at monthly Service Area board meetings. Bond monies are held in custody by the lending bond bank and all expenditures are subject to a review and approval process to ensure they meet bond criteria.

  4. Where will you build the new Station #1?
    The expected site will be on multiple parcels of land located at the corner of Wilson Lane and Warehouse Drive, in Soldotna. Those properties are adjacent to the current Office of Emergency Management building at 253 Wilson Lane.

  5. When will the new station be completed?
    The estimated construction phases are expected to take between 24-48 months, which is based upon having total funding in hand.

  6. What Ballot Measure number will show up on my ballot that represents Central Emergency Services Fire Station #1 Construction bond?
    Proposition #3 Central Emergency Service Area Station Bonds and Approval of Project

  7. Why doesn’t the ballot simply say Central Emergency Services bond proposition?
    Each ballot measure is assigned a number. This is the system that the Kenai Peninsula Borough utilizes in managing elections.

  8. What will happen to the current Fire Station if the bond passes?
    The current station would be part of the borough surplus process. Since the proposed new station will be designed to combine three facilities into one facility, the current station would no longer be required. Administrative Headquarters, Fire Station and Training room will be located in one building for more cost effective operations, saving money.