Kenai Approves Legal Funds for CINGSA Lawsuit

Last night’s meeting of the Kenai City Council ran about 30 minutes as the Council quickly approved all items on the relatively short agenda, including some funds for a legal battle currently underway.

 

City Attorney Scott Bloom explains…

 

Bloom: “The issue at the heart of this is whether or not the City of Kenai, who is primarily a surface rights owner, or CIRI or the State of Alaska, who own the mineral rights, should be compensated by CINGSA, who is storing gas in the pore space.”

 

All parties agree on the basic facts of the case, but City Manager Rick Koch said it gets complicated because ownership of underground space has never been legally defined…

 

Koch: “This is precedent-setting law stuff, and I don’t like to spend money jsut to be setting precedent some place, unless there is a reasonable opportunity for a positive outcome for the citizens of Kenai and we’ve kicked this around a lot, and it’s in our best interest to have this defined.”

 

A decision is expected by the spring.

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