- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2016

NIKISKI, Alaska (AP) - A group of residents of the Kenai Peninsula community of Nikiski are looking to formally become a city.

Residents who have been investigating the feasibility of incorporating the community for the past two years presented their findings at a town hall meeting on Tuesday, The Peninsula Clarion reported (https://bit.ly/24mnihW ).

“It was just an introduction of what our group is working on, and introducing the idea and letting them know that they are included in that service area and we want to invite them in . to have a voice,” group member Stacy Oliva said.

If Nikiski incorporated, study group members say they plan to enact a home-rule charter for the would-be city.

Group member Jack Porter said Nikiski property owners currently pay taxes to the Kenai Peninsula Borough for schools and services, in addition to local service area taxes. Porter said if Nikiski incorporated, those funds would be guaranteed to be spent locally.

The study group needs about 300 signatures on a petition to move forward. If the signatures are collected, the petition will go to the Local Boundary Commission, which has the final say over whether the question of incorporation could go to the ballot for residents to vote on.

Anchorage attorney Matt Mead, who is advising the group, said the commission usually takes one to two years to come out with a final decision.

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Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, https://www.peninsulaclarion.com


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