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All ideas welcome

With the dire straits state government is in, it’s encouraging to witness the Ketchikan City Council move the First City toward economically promising times.

The council decided this week to look at all options when it comes to Port of Ketchikan and upland development over the next few years.

The council, which held a special meeting Wednesday at the Ted Ferry Civic Center to better accommodate about 100 members of the public, heard a report from its port consultant, Bermello, Ajamil and Partners, Inc., of Florida. Luis Ajamil made the firm’s presentation.

The slide show lasted about an hour and preceded public comment. The latter then went on for approximately two hours, including speakers from downtown businesses and citizens interested in all aspects of the effects of port development on the community.

Concerns ranged from changing with and accommodating the industry to capping it off to reduce activity.

Ajamil explained to the crowd that the cruise ship industry is growing and is interested in partnering with public and private entities to ensure it has reliable dock space.

Partnering largely involves financial involvement, but other particulars might be considered, as well.

The presentation concluded with the opportunity for the council to direct management to prepare requests for proposals in regard to expanding the port and dealing with uplands, which are key to the infrastructure necessary in handling the growing influx of ships and passengers. The proposals will specifically describe what the council seeks.

But the council didn’t box itself in. It also decided to review and discuss a proposal by Survey Point Holdings, which built Berth 4. Its proposal addresses expanding Berth 1.

By agreeing to look at both RFPs and Survey Point’s proposal, the city is clearly signaling it’s open for business and will evaluate all possibilities to determine what is best for the community.

This is as it should be. It’s difficult to make a decision when all the choices aren’t laid out.

Through the council’s approach, it will be. Then not only the council, but the community can see the extent of the potential.