The Ketchikan City Council voted down a request from the Ketchikan Indian Community to transfer ownership of the Deer Mountain Fish Hatchery at its regular meeting last night.
The council voted unaminously to reject the request, which according to the Ketchikan Indian Community would have allowed it to qualify for special grants as a cultural non profit.
In an interview Friday, Mayor Lew Williams III said that making sure the Hatchery stays open AS a hatchery should be the first priority, and that the city will direct funds towards KIC to that end.
“We want to see the hatchery continue so we have those early runs of kings coming up the creek,” said Williams. “We are looking at having that operate.”
Also last night the Council voted to continue exploring options to begin shifting some Ketchikan Public Utilities water customers over to meters. In a report prepared for the Council, City Manager Karl Amylon suggested that residential customers should be exempt from the switch and continue to pay a flat rate, while businesses should be transitioned to meters.
Ultimately the Council decided to switch some larger businesses FIRST and go from there. Mayor Williamns describes the shift.
“What we’re gonna start with is metering large commercial and fish processors,” says Williams. “We’ll start with that.”
The cost for updating commercial customers to water meters is estimated to cost a little more than $2 million.