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Welding facility on the agenda: Borough Assembly to meet

KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Renovation of Ketchikan High School’s welding facility, a transfer of a liquor license to Cape Fox Lodge LLC, and new borough service area directors are among the topics on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly’s relatively  light agenda on Monday.

 The Ketchikan High School's welding shop exhaust stack is almost three decades old, and in need of renovation.

"The current High School welding shop HVAC system is nearly 30 years old and under certain weather and wind conditions, exhaust from the High School welding shop exhaust stack blows back into classrooms. Therefore, it was determined that the system has exceeded its useful life," according to the agenda report.

Fixing the issue of the exhaust stack will be resolved by a new dust collection system which will require a  variety of new amenities and fixtures. The amount budgeted for the project is $150,000.

The Assembly also will consider signing off on the proposed transfer of State Liquor License 713 from the Last Frontier restaurant to Cape Fox Lodge LLC. The Cape Fox Lodge has also submitted an application for a transfer of ownership and restaurant designation permit from The Last Frontier. The new location would be George Inlet Cannery, at 13194 S. Tongass Highway, according to the agenda report.

Borough service areas of Forest Park, Gold Nugget, Homestead, North Tongass Fire and EMS, South Tongass and Waterfall are set to receive new board directors, appointed by Mayor David Landis.

The above items are scheduled to be part of the Assembly’s consent agenda, and could be voted on as a group without Assembly discussion.

In the regular agenda, the Assembly will consider introducing an ordinance that could result in the extension of the existing excise tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The current excise tax was approved by borough voters in  October 2016, and is scheduled to “sunset” on Dec. 31, 2021.

According to the Alaska Department of Revenue, the excise tax is 10 cents per cigarette — $2.00 per pack of 20 cigarettes. It also includes a levy of 50% on the wholesale cost of other tobacco products.

All of the proceeds from the tobacco excise tax currently go to the borough’s Local Education Fund.

If the Assembly approves proposed Ordinance 1889, a ballot proposition will be placed on the Oct, 1, 2019, regular election ballot, asking borough voters whether the tobacco excise tax should remain in place until repealed by ordinance or amended further, according to agenda information.

The Assembly also will consider a recommended motion to accept a petition to form a new “Old Dairy Road Service Area”  to exercise "road powers for the necessary maintenance and improvement of existing and future subdivision roads serving all properties accessing South Tongass Highway from Old Dairy Road," according to the agenda report.

The borough manager’s report will include updates on the acceptance of the airport bid for new equipment, an upcoming animal protection training session on June 30, the zoning permit issued for a cruise ship berth for Ward Cove, and the rise of ridership on the downtown shuttle bus during May.