Administrators for the City of Kenai are currently putting together the annual dip net fishery report. Finance Director Terry Eubank said overall, the finances paint a a positive picture.
Eubank: “The way it stands right now, we did have revenues in excess of our expenditures this year. But we continue to have greater demand for capital type expenditures to manage the fishery, so one of the processes we go through is analyzing future needs and capital needs that we have or capital requests that we’d like to make of council. At the end of the day, while we currently show a little bit of revenues over expenditures, that may change before the whole fishery’s wrapped up this year.”
City Manager Rick Koch said they are considering a change in the way dip net fishermen are charged…
Koch: “And there’d be a $20 fee per adult, who receives a personal use fishery permit.”
Since the City currently collects most fees through parking and camping, we asked Koch is the change to a paid permit would shift the burden to local residents…
Koch: “We collect fees from about 30 percent of the people that participate in the fishery here. When you look in Old Town, Old Town the streets are absolutely full of people. They walk over the fence, go over the trail down to the beach, and they don’t pay anything. And none of those people that’re parking in Old Town are locals. The locals, generally somebody drops them off down there and they go fish. And we’ve tried to find ways that we could lower or eliminate fees for locals, but the way that everybody has to be treated the same, unfortunately, we can’t do that.”
Koch said the move to a PU permit would need State Legislative support.