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Council weighs policy issues: OKs resolution in support of exempting the Tongass from federal Roadless Rule

Daily News Staff Writer

The Ketchikan City Council weighed in on external policy issues during its meeting on Monday evening, approving resolutions in support of exempting the Tongass National Forest from the federal Roadless Rule and requesting that the government of British Columbia take appriserate steps to ensure that Canadian mining projects don’t affect the Unuk River watershed.

The Council also discussed but took no action on two topics of considerable local interest.

Council members were clear that no plans are being made at present for an annexation of the Ward Cove area. They also were clear that the city would be seeking solutions other than building an expensive filtration plant to address an increase in fecal coliform test results in the Ketchikan Lakes water that constitutes the municipal water supply.

In other business, the City Council

 • Approved a 2% cost-of-living  pay adjustment for City of Ketchikan and Ketchikan Public Utilities personnel who aren’t represented by unions.

• Approved the first reading of an ordinance that would declare the city’s former fire hall property at 319 Main St. as surplus, and authorize its sale to the highest responsive bidder through a sealed competitive bid process, if no “referendum petitions” are filed. There was some discussion of whether to require a minimum bid of assessed property value, but it was noted that the recent outcry bid that had a minimum bid requirement had failed to produce any bids. As such, the City Council will have a second reading of the proposed ordinance without a minimum-bid requirement at its next regular meeting on Dec. 5.

• Took no action on making additional comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the Power Systems & Supplies of Alaska’s permit application for the proposed cruise ship dock in Ward Cove. One component of the city’s proposed comments focused on transportation issues. However, city officials met with Ward Cove Dock Group representatives on Friday about a transportation plan being developed that the group is developing. A second meeting is scheduled between Ward Cove Dock Group Representatives and City of Ketchikan Port and Harbors Director Steve Corporon on Tuesday. The city still has time to submit additional comments to the Corps if so desired.

• Deferred a planned annual evaluation of City Manager Karl Amylon because three of seven council members were not present in the City Council chambers on Monday. City Council members Mark Flora and Lew Williams III attended the meeting by teleconference. Council member Dave Kiffer was absent.

Further coverage of Monday’s Ketchikan City Counil meeting is anticipated in a future edition of the Ketchikan Daily News.