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6/6/2019
Full agenda set for City Council

By SCOTT BOWLEN
Daily News Staff Writer

The Ketchikan City Council will have a full agenda during its regular meeting Thursday evening, with topics ranging from property tax mill rates to on-site marijuana consumption to declaring the old Ketchikan Fire Department station on Main Street as surplus and selling it at auction.

Regarding the former KFD Fire Station No. 1 at 319 Main St., the council will consider the second reading of Ordinance 1894, which would declare the property as surplus and the authorize its sale at auction.

The two-story structure on Main Street had been used as a fire station from 1942, when it was built, through 2011.

The Ketchikan Fire Department moved to the new Fire Station No. 1 at 70 Bawden St. in 2012. Since then, the Main Street site has been used for storage by the Ketchkan Police Department, Ketchikan Museums and City of Ketchikan Finance Department, according to city information.

Earlier this year, Integra Resources of Seattle appraised the as-is market value of the property at $330,000.

The proposed ordinance would require the auction to start at a minimum bid of $335,750, which includes the appraisal cost of $5,750.

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s total appraised value from 2014 through 2018 has remained steady at $315,400.

The city has been discussing the disposition of the property since the fall of 2018, when a local entity approached the city about the possible acquisition of the former fire station for use as a commercial distillery. Thursday’s meeting could be the final step in the city’s decision-making process toward a potential sale of the old Fire Station No. 1.

The City Council unanimously approved the first reading of proposed Ordinance 1894 during its previous regular meeting on May 16.

City Manager Karl Amylon noted in a May 17 memo to the council that the proposed ordinance doesn’t contain special conditions that might be attached to the sale of the former fire stations. Such conditions could include the “proposed use of the building; preservation of the exterior facade; or the financial wherewithal of potential buyers.”

Amylon wrote that the ordinance can be amended before its consideration in second reading.

The proposed ordinance also would provide a period of one month after the passage of the ordinance for the filing of “referendum petitions.”

A successful filing of a referendum petition would place the proposed ordinance on a ballot to be decided by voters. Otherwise, if no successful referendum petition is filed within the one-month period, the ordinance would become effective one month after the ordinance’s passage and publication, according to city information.

On-site consumption

The council on Thursday could hear the second reading of proposed Ordinance 1896, which would prohibit the consumption of marijuana and marijuana products onsite “at any marijuana establishment,” subject to voter approval.

According to the proposed ordinance, consumption includes smoking, vaping, ingesting or “any other means.”

The council unanimously approved the proposed ordinance in first reading on May 16.

On Thursday, if the City Council approves the second reading of Ordinance 1896, council members also will consider the companion Resolution 2737 that would place the prohibition of onsite consumption of marijuana or marijuana products on the Oct. 1 municipal ballot for consideration by city voters.

Other business

Among other items on Thursday’s agenda are two discussion items requested by council members.

These include discussions about having crossing guards at the intersection of Water Street and Schoenbar Road (Council Member Janalee Gage) and at the intersections of Mission and Main streets, and Stedman, Mill and Dock streets (Council Member Sam Bergeron).

Ketchikan City Mayor Bob Sivertsen requested discussion about having a temporary moratorium or permanent ban on commercial rental or provision of “dockless vehicles” in the downtown core area, according to the agenda.

In April, the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly adopted an ordinance that prohibits commercial rentals or the provision of dockless vehicles, which the municipality identifies as “a bicycle, a bicycle with an electric assist, a scooter, a scooter with an electric assist, and similar micromobility devices, which are available for use by the public for short-term rentals and are picked up from, left at, or returned to a location in which the vehicle is not locked to a docking station or similar secured facility for that vehicle.

“Dockless vehicle does not include a micromobility device provided to a person with a mobility disability,” the definition continues.

According to the Juneau agenda materials, scooters, e-bikes and other dockless transportation devices are creating problems related to clutter, pedestrian access and safety in the Lower 48.

The Juneau ordinance is effective only through February, because the municipality plans to prepare a comprehensive regulatory package to allow commercial use and rental of dockless vehicles next year.

Also Thursday. the Ketchikan City Council is expected to:

• Consider approving a grant agreement with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community  and Economic Development for up to $95,880 for the design of renovations to the former Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility at 623 Gateway Court. The renovations city-owned facility will allow its use by Women In Safe Homes as a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, according to agenda materials.

• Consider going into an executive session to discuss negotiation strategies regarding the expiration of the collective bargaining agreements between the city and the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers, Local 1547 the Ketchikan Professional Firefighters Association, IAFF, Local 2761 and the Public Safety Employees Association, according to the agenda.

• Consider going into an executive session regarding personal injury claims by Sam Bergeron and Linda Millard, “relating to their being struck by a city vehicle on Feb. 14, 2019,” according City Attorney Mitch Seaver’s request for an executive session. Bergeron is a member of the Ketchikan City Council.