As plans to fence the entire perimeter of Kodiak’s municipal airport progresses some are worried the barrier will cut off a popular footpath that links neighborhoods with Mill Bay Road. Critics of the fence say it would require people to take a long detour around Lily Lake. KMXT’s Jacob Resneck reports.
— airport fence pkg 2:22 "The city plans … I’m Jacob Resneck."
The city plans to have the entire airport fenced with a gate installed on the south end by May 20th, says City Public Works Director Mark Kozak. He says the $700,000 project was state funded and addresses a crucial safety issue..
But the fence would also cut off a footpath that links neighborhoods with Mill Bay road. That path itself parallels but doesn’t cross the runway itself.. Andy Schroeder, executive director, of the Island Trails Network says the path is a useful right of way.
Natasha Zahn Pristas lives on Larch Street and uses the path regularly. She recently wrote an op-ed in the Kodiak Daily Mirror arguing that access to the path should be preserved.She says she’s not anti-runway just pro-footpath.
But Kozak says the problem is that the runway sits on a crest so that taxiing pilots cannot see the whole length of the strip. He says the area needs to be restricted.
The issue will be revisited this week at the Borough’s Park and Recreation Committee meeting. Schroeder credits Pristas for raising the issue with that committee and says Kozak has been invited to explain the city’s interest in building a fence.
The Parks and Recreation Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at the Kodiak Fisheries Research Center on Near Island. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.
I’m Jacob Resneck