Local News

Fight Club ban back on City Council agenda

Ketchikan Fight Club is back on the Ketchikan City Council agenda Thursday night, with a proposal to ban the event from using the city-owned Ted Ferry Civic Center.

The motion had been deferred from the last Council meeting because Fight Club officials were out of town, and the Council wanted to give them an opportunity to comment on the proposal.

Council Member Bob Sivertsen is spearheading the move to keep the event out of the Civic Center. He argues that it isn’t the appropriate venue for events that routinely result in bloodshed.

Here’s Sivertsen from the previous Council meeting:

“Blood-borne pathogens, the alcohol, problems in the bathrooms, most recently, I understand they used a moldy tarp, which after everybody walked on it and ground it in, it was also now a moldy carpet that took extensive cleaning,” he said.

Civic Center Manager Rhonda Bolling said that even without the tarp issue, blood, vomit and spilled drinks lead to significant cleanup efforts after each fight. She also spoke during the last Council meeting, and said, “It takes a full day after the event to air it out. It’s pretty messy.”

There also was concern raised that Civic Center employees had not been trained to properly handle cleanup of body fluids, which can transmit disease.

Bolling looked into some questions that the Council asked during that meeting, and since then drafted a memo with additional information. She writes that the Civic Center now has a policy in place for cleaning up body fluids, and staff will receive training for that as well as CPR and first aid.

Bolling adds that Fight Club organizer Jack Duckworth has offered to purchase new tarps for the Civic Center, if the fights are allowed to continue there; and will train his own staff on cleaning up body fluids properly.

Duckworth also submitted a memo for the Council to consider. In it, he writes that the Civic Center is the only facility that can accommodate the events. Duckworth adds that the fights help stimulate the local economy, by bringing people from other communities who spend money on food and housing while they’re here.

Also Thursday, the Council will vote on $43 million in bonds for improvements to Ketchikan Medical Center. The bonds still would need voter approval during the upcoming Oct. 1municipal election.

The Council also will discuss emergency dispatch services for areas outside of city limits. City and borough officials disagree about how much the borough should pay for dispatching, with the city claiming that the borough’s share should be about $150,000, and the borough offering about $15,000.

The Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. in City Council chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.

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