In an extended discussion that concluded the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly’s long and robust meeting on Monday evening, the Assembly voted down a staff recommendation to postpone until next year consideration of a proposal to issue $6.6 million in bonds to pay for improvements to some of Ketchikan's sport fields, instead scheduling a work session for its next meeting this month to discuss whether to put the issue to borough voters on this year’s local election ballot.
Five Assembly members voted against the motion to postpone bond discussions until next spring. Assembly members Judith McQuerry and Austin Otos voted in favor of the postponement, concerned that without firm details about the scope and plans for the specific improvements, and with potentially open questions about the terms of the bond and the borough’s ability to pay it, residents might vote against the measure, complicating the path toward making the improvements.
Beyond that item, the Assembly approved all other items on its agenda, including those that were listed on its consent calendar and an ordinance that would give the borough manager more flexibility to set rules on when dogs would and would not be allowed off-leash at Weiss Fields.
Assembly members moved four items off the consent calendar for Monday’s meeting to allow for discussion with borough staff: an ordinance increasing the Ketchikan School District’s spending authority for the remainder of the 2021 fiscal year, which lasts until the end of the month; a resolution amending the borough’s junk vehicle program to make it less cumbersome for residents; a resolution thinning parts of a public access easement on the Mile 16 Subdivision along North Tongass Highway; and a motion authorizing the borough manager’s purchase of a new fire engine cab and chassis to replace one currently being used by the North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department.
After discussion, the Assembly unanimously approved all four moved consent calendar items.
Further coverage of Monday’s meeting will be published in a future edition of the Daily News.