KENAI, Alaska — Officials in Kenai are exploring permit options for beach vendors, aiming to help local entrepreneurs and the city capitalize on the summer dip net fishery.

The Kenai City Council on Wednesday held informal discussions on issuing permits and installing beachside infrastructure for vendors, the Peninsula Clarion reported .

The personal-use fishery draws in between 20,000 to 25,000 people to Kenai’s beaches each July. The city currently does not issue specific permits for the dip net vendors, instead it uses mobile food vendor permits and transient merchant permits.

In past years during the fishery, there are usually between three and five vendors selling coffee, ice, snacks, firewood, and other merchandise on the beach, Kenai Finance Director Terry Eubank said.

To create the new permits, the city would need to consider if the number of certain types of vendors should be limited, Eubank said. The city would also need to consider if vendors should be require to operate all days of the fishery and for a certain number of hours each day.

“We have to craft this so we just don’t give it to the first person who comes in the door; we should have a competitive process open to all the vendors out there,” Eubank said.

City Manager Paul Ostrander said his administration will form recommendations to bring back to the commissions and the council in the hopes that a plan can be put in place this year.

“Based on this discussion and some of the input from council, we could put together a framework of what we’re looking for down there, which I think would include local preference, exclusivity, maybe a competitive process, some on-site requirements for these vendors,” Ostrander said.

Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion,

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