KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly on Monday will enter a work session to discuss coronavirus relief funds and will hear presentations regarding the Ketchikan Shipyard and the flood insurance mapping process.

CARES Act work session

The Assembly will revisit the allocation of its relief funds from the federal Coronavirus Relief, Aid and Economic Security Act in anticipation of the Dec. 31 deadline by which the funds must be spent.

Borough staff are recommending allocating $500,000 of the borough’s remaining $565,695 available relief funds to the rent and mortgage assistance program, which is not expected to have enough allocated funds to meet demand through the end of the year. The meeting agenda also indicates that if the Assembly decides against allocating money for rent assistance, it might instead consider allocating that $500,000 to cover the second round of relief for businesses in the borough.

Also during the work session, staff are recommending that the Assembly allocate remaining unspent relief funds to cover eligible expenses the borough has incurred since the beginning of the pandemic, including first responder wages in the North and South Tongass service areas and the costs of administering the relief programs.

Presentations

The Assembly will hear two presentations near the start of its meeting Monday, though no materials for those presentations were attached to Monday’s meeting agenda. First, three representatives from the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority will present the Ketchikan Shipyard Annual Report to the Assembly. Then, Borough Planning Director Richard Harney will present information to the Assembly about the Federal Emergency Management Authority’s Risk Map process and its timeline for approving final Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the borough.

According to the meeting agenda, a “Revised Preliminary Meeting (also called a CCO meeting)” regarding the Risk Map process will occur in December, with discussions and setup of an online “open house” public review process set to occur between January and April of 2021. A second appeal period will run from May to August, with comments and appeals to be resolved in December 2021 and final Flood Insurance Rate Maps to become effective in August 2022.

Public Hearings

The Assembly will hold five public hearings on Monday: Three rezoning requests forwarded to the Assembly from the Borough Planning Commission and two budget amendments that were unanimously approved at previous Assembly meetings.

The proposed rezones are for the following properties:

• Rezoning Lot 11A of the Herby-Schneider Replat at 434 Schoenbar Road from “the High-Density Residential Zone and Medium-Density Residential Zone” to solely medium-density residential, according to the meeting agenda;

• Rezoning Lot 5 of the Oceanview Subdivision at 3108 South Tongass Highway from low-density residential to medium-density residential; and

• Rezoning all of Lot 3B of the Ward Cove Market Replat at 7196 North Tongass Highway from general commercial and heavy industrial to general commercial only.

The planning commission recommended approval of all three rezone requests.

The remaining two public hearings are scheduled for budget amendments related to a cost-of-living adjustment for non-represented borough employees, a radio upgrade project for the North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department and a fire panel upgrade for the Ketchikan School District.

Motions to approve the radio replacements and fire panel upgrades are listed on the consent calendar, indicating that they are considered routine by borough staff.

Meeting information

Monday’s meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be conducted remotely. Members of the public can stream the meeting live on the borough website at kgbak.us, or watch on KPU and GCI local channels. The meeting also will be accessible through the WebEx videoconferencing platform, with meeting number 126 853 5348 and password SocialDistance6.

To sign up to speak during the Citizen Comments portion of the meeting, members of the public may call the clerk's office before 3 p.m. on Monday. Written comments can be submitted to the borough clerk to be read into the record at boroclerk@kgbak.us.

Monday’s full meeting agenda can be found on the borough website at bit.ly/3lNeP81.