City Officials Concerned About Safety on Poopdeck Trail

Ariel Van Cleave

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     Homer city officials are focusing on safety improvements around the Poopdeck Trail. It’s a path that connects Hazel Avenue and Poopdeck Street to Pioneer Avenue in the city’s downtown. The move comes after the body of 61-year-old Mark Matthews was found there July 28.

     City Manager Walt Wrede said concerns about safety aren’t centered on the trail alone.

     “In the newspapers and other places it’s been referred to constantly as ‘the problem on Poopdeck Trail,’ and what we’re finding is it’s much broader than that. It’s really the entire town center,” he said.

     He said the public works department has plans to thin out and clear the Poopdeck trail as well as the trail that leads to the library.

     “The plan is not to take down any big spruce trees, but to take out some of the alders and the underbrush,” he said.

     Wrede said there has been some discussion about getting help from the community. He said staff with the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust suggested volunteers maintain the trail. That’s how the Land Trust was able to complete its project on the Calvin and Coyle Nature Trail.

     “We’re gonna be looking at all those options. But I just wanted to make sure that the council knew, and the community knows, that we’re taking a serious look at trying to make all of our trails in Homer a safer place for everybody to be,” he said.

     Police are still investigating the July 28 homicide. The state crime lab also is examining some evidence found on the scene. It’s the first homicide within the Homer City limits in five years. 

     Police are offering a reward of $2,000 to anyone who comes forward with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of the murder of Mark Matthews. Anyone with information is urged to call the Homer Police Department at 235-3150 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-478-4258.



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