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Kachemak City changes stance on Homer providing water to a low-income housing project

Kachemak City

Kachemak City changed its stance on Homer providing water services to a low-income housing project. Kachemak City’s mayor originally penned a letter urging Homer to provide water services to all properties in Kachemak City along an existing water line on East End Road.

However, during a special meeting Monday, Kachemak City Council members decided to write a letter supporting Homer’s plan.

Kachemak City Council Member Jeanne Walker said the letter that Kachemak City Mayor Bill Overway originally sent to his Homer counterpart, Ken Castner, a couple weeks ago summarized the council’s feelings during its last discussion. The council was trying to provide input on a Homer City Council ordinance that  would allow developers of a low-income housing project to pay $100,000 to hook up to Homer’s city water system while other Kachemak City properties along East End Road would be prohibited from doing so.

“In our last council meeting, we basically said that we didn't feel it was fair… that we really can't treat one lot differently than others that can benefit from the same advantage, which is hooking up to water on the East End road extension,” she said.

However, Castner did not share that letter with Homer City Council members when they approved extending water utilities to the Kachemak City housing project.

Overway described his conversation with Castner following his letter:

“Mayor Castner called me up and says ‘that is not what I wanted for a letter. What I want is a one sentence letter stating that Kachemak City approves water to the low cost housing,’ and I think with the letter that we’re given, it’s a little too late,” he said. “But I still think that we should send a letter to that effect.”

The Kachemak City Council also considered a resolution welcoming the Homer City Council to allow all Kachemak City lots along East End Road to utilize Homer water services, but Overway argued that was a separate issue and the measure was put on hold.

Homer City Council Member Donna Aderhold spoke at the meeting, reminding Kachemak City Council members that the Homer council is due to consider rescinding its decision on the matter next week because of Overway’s original letter.

“So you guys can decide what you want to do and not do what the mayor of Homer is telling you to do,” she said. “You guys need to talk about this resolution or whatever you want to send to the city of Homer to say this is our wishes.”  

Still, Overway urged the council not to stand in the way of the low-income housing project’s ability to hook up to Homer water services.

“It’s kind of a done deal,” he said. “They’re going to get started here shortly, and I don't want to be the one responsible holding them up under construction.”

The council ultimately agreed with Overway to write a letter supporting Homer’s plan with one council member voting against the move.

The Kachemak City Council is due to reconsider its resolution regarding the broader issue of its residents hooking up to Homer water utilities during its next regular meeting on April 10. The Homer City Council will vote on whether to rescind its ordinance providing water utilities to the low-income housing project in Kachemak City Monday. 

Renee joined KBBI in 2017 as a general assignment reporter and host. Her work has appeared on such shows as Weekend Edition Saturday, The World, Marketplace and Studio 360. Renee previously interned as a reporter for KPCC in Los Angeles and as a producer for Stateside at Michigan Radio. Her work has earned her numerous press club awards. She holds an M.S. in journalism from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in women's studies from the University of Michigan.
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