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Tonight’s meeting is an important one for Ketchikan — particularly the downtown. But it affects the entire community.
The City of Ketchikan — at the City Council’s behest — hired a firm to advise it in regard to Port of Ketchikan and upland development to meet the infrastructure needs of the advancing cruise ship industry in the First City.
The firm, Bermello Ajamil and Partners, Inc., is a Florida-based operation experienced in maritime, engineering, planning, design and building.
It completed a market analysis and strategy proposal for the city.
The study shows that as many as 1.7 million cruise ship passengers might come to Ketchikan annually by the end of the next decade.
The likely increase in visitors is in part a function of ship size. The industry is busy building larger ships that can accommodate greater numbers of passengers.
Bermello Ajamil will present its findings and proposal at the meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at the Ted Ferry Civic Center.
Following the presentation, the city’s decision-makers will address accommodating the cruise ship industry and its growth.
A public comment period is scheduled at the start of the meeting. It will be followed by the presentation. The council will need information from both as it moves forward.
But aside from both of the above, one aspect of the industry is clear — it is changing. The key point is how Ketchikan will change with it.