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Council OKs dock changes: Vendor rules revised

Daily News Staff Writer

The Ketchikan City Council renewed a three-year contract, with an amendment, for the Port of Ketchikan Dock Vendor Program on Thursday evening, approving several changes to the program recommended by Port & Harbors Director Steve Corporon.

In a memo to City Manager Karl Amylon, Corporon outlined a number of changes, which according to an earlier statement by Amylon, are to accommodate larger cruise ships entering the Alaska market, and the increased number of disembarking and embarking passengers.

The original proposed changes were discussed at the meeting, which led to council approving an amendment to the contract. The amendment allows two vendors outside of the booths to solicit sales instead of none, and states the booth sizes would not have to be enlarged for the upcoming cruise ship season.

The approved portions of the contract include re-locating the two booths adjacent to the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau building on Berth 2, moving one to Berth 1 and the other to Berth 3. Corporon wrote in an earlier statement that the six existing dock vendors all lease their tour booths inside the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau building.

Corporon wrote in that statement that having two booths at Berth 2 is “not only redundant, but causes unnecessary congestion, especially while passengers are disembarking,” and noted there is space for three booths at both Berths 1 and 3, they should be “relocated away from the direct line of passenger traffic while disembarking.”

Another approved change includes vendors no longer being allowed to use the Mountain Point parking lot for disembarking passengers and directing them to “walk down the launch ramp to look at starfish and other sea life,” unless they’re using the parking lot to transfer passengers to or from a charter vessel.

Also in the approved changes is is forbidding free-standing and sandwich board signs. Corporon said in an earlier statement that he is trying to “close many of the loopholes regarding price signs on vehicles, clothing and hand signs.”

“I’ve tried to think of everything I could, and I’ve tried to be fair about this,” Corporon said at the meeting. “I’ve tried to look at it on both sides and weigh all the issues, and know that not everybody is going to get exactly what they want.”

In other business, the council approved a motion to extend a noise variance for the Front, Mill and Stedman streets reconstruction project, for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Amylon said in an earlier statement that the requested extension is the result of delays in completing right-of-way acquisition. In June, the council adopted a motion to issue a noise variance for the project that would allow construction activity to take place after 10 p.m.

The conditions of the noise variance include allowing construction activities to occur from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m., paving and line painting from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., and not allowing construction to occur on Fridays or holidays during the period of May 1, 2019, to Sept. 30, 2019.

Also on Thursday, members of the Ketchikan City Council heard an update about the overnight warming center, which saw 47 people visit 255 times in October. Council members were informed that the warming center is color coding individuals who enter — black for people who came in on their own, blue for people brought in by police, and red for people brought in by emergency services.