Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

The Nenana River boat launch off 10th Street/Totchaket Road in Nenana has been around for a long time. But it looks new and improved, after some recent renovation.

Nenana Mayor Joshua Verhagen has had his eye on that launch for a long time.

“We’ve had a lot of complaints,” he said. “People can’t get their boats in the water or getting stuck. I’ve been wanting to make some improvements down there for a while.”

This week, it finally happened. The boat launch is used regularly by river users throughout the Interior. From this launch, river users can head to the Tanana, Teklanika or Nenana rivers and beyond.

“I cut out about four hours of my day two days ago and went down there with a loader,” the mayor said. “I built a bit of a dike at a very slight angle, then built the ramp. It’s a Y shape so it’s not perpendicular to the river.”

For a long time, he has wanted to model improvements at this launch after a similar site in the Kenai called Eagle Rock Landing. In fact, he has already created a digital plan for a Nenana Lagoon Project but that is not likely to happen in the near future. This might be a step in that direction, however.

“We might as well experiment and see how a miniature version of this would work,” he said. “I did it at an angle and dug deeper and lower, so the water would come back into there.”

Now, it will be a waiting game to see how long it takes to fill up with silt. This will provide useful information for future improvements.

Projects like these are the fun parts of his job, the mayor said.

A second spot to launch boats was created the next day. A local resident had been contacted by a state agency seeking improved access. When he saw access was already improved, he just created a second launch site. So now there are two sites for riverboats to get in and out of the river.

Riverboat users will be pleasantly surprised on their next visit there.


New website

The city of Nenana is about to launch a new city website. it will include contact information for all city officials and will include all forms that local residents may need to acquire for doing business with the city.

A special news/information tab will also provide beneficial information for area residents.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.