Soldotna Community Overview
3,869 (2005 State Demographer est.)
Pronunciation/Other Names: (soul-DAHT-nuh)
Incorporation Type: 1st Class City
Borough Located In: Kenai Peninsula Borough
School District: Kenai Peninsula Schools
Regional Native Corporation: Not Applicable
Soldotna is on the Kenai Peninsula, 150 highway miles south of Anchorage, at the junction of the Sterling and Kenai Spur Highways. It lies 10 miles inland from Cook Inlet, and borders the Kenai River. It lies at approximately 60.487780° North Latitude and -151.05833° West Longitude. (Sec. 32, T005N, R010W, Seward Meridian.) Soldotna is located in the Kenai Recording District. The area encompasses 6.9 sq. miles of land and 0.5 sq. miles of water. Winter temperatures range from 6 to 24; summers range from 45 to 66. Average annual precipitation is 17.4 inches.
The Peninsula has historically been the home to Kenaitze Indians, and was developed by non-Natives for its rich resources, including fish, timber and oil. Soldotna was named for a nearby stream; it is a Russian word meaning “soldier.” Others believe it is derived from an Indian word meaning “stream fork.” The first homesteaders were World War II veterans, given a 90-day preference over non-veterans in selecting and filing for property in 1947. That same year, the Sterling Highway right-of-way was constructed from Cooper Landing to Kenai. Soldotna was the site for the bridge crossing the Kenai River. A post office opened in 1949, with stores and a community center shortly thereafter. Soldotna continued to develop because of its strategic location at the Sterling-Kenai Spur Highway junction. In 1957, oil was discovered in the Swanson River region, bringing new growth and development. Soldotna was incorporated as a city in 1960.
The Kenai River offers top trophy king salmon fishing during June and July. A 97 lb. 4 oz. world record king salmon was taken from these waters in 1985, and catching kings of over 60 pounds is not uncommon here. The Central Peninsula Sports Center provides an ice rink, racquetball courts, weight room and meeting facilities.
The area economy is highly diverse. Kenai and Soldotna residents are employed in oil industry services for Cook Inlet oil and natural gas drilling and exploration. Oil refining operations occur north of Kenai in Nikiski. Other important economic sectors include sport, subsistence and commercial fishing, fish processing, government, timber and lumber, agriculture, transportation, construction, services and retail trade. 173 area residents hold commercial fishing permits. It is the site of the Central Peninsula General Hospital, the Kenai Peninsula Community College, the State Troopers’ Headquarters, The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and the Borough and School District offices.
All homes are completely plumbed. Water is derived from four wells, is treated, stored, and piped throughout the community. A new million-gallon steel tank and a second 500,000-gal. tank, built in the 1970s, now provide sufficient capacity. Piped sewage receives secondary treatment with an activated sludge process; effluent discharges into the Kenai River. Individual wells and septic tanks are used by a few households outside of the core area. Refuse is collected by a private company, and disposed of in the Borough’s Class 1 regional landfill and baling facility at mile 98.5 Sterling Hwy. in Soldotna. Recycling and hazardous waste disposal are available. Natural gas from Enstar is primarily used by residents for home heating. Homer Electric Assoc. operates the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project and is part owner of the Alaska Electric Generation & Transmission Cooperative, which operates a gas turbine plant in Soldotna. It also purchases electricity from Chugach Electric.
The Soldotna Municipal Airport provides facilities for charter services and local air traffic. There are two paved runways, one is 5,000
ong by 132′ wide, the other is 1,500′ long by 50′ wide. The Kenai Municipal Airport, located 10 miles away, offers scheduled flights and float plane facilities. Seaplanes may also land at nearby Mackeys Lakes. There are four additional private landing strips in Soldotna, and a heliport for medical emergencies at Central Peninsula General Hospital. The Sterling Highway provides access to Anchorage, the George Parks and Alcan highways.
Winter temperatures range from 6 to 24; summers range from 45 to 66. Average annual precipitation is 17.4 inches.
Real Estate Alaska
address: Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
phone number: (855) 732-6109