Local News

Permit for Herring Cove tour operators?

A few public hearings will kick off Monday’s Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly meeting. The hearings provide the public an opportunity to comment on ordinances, including two that would expand development options at the borough-run airport, and appropriate about $62,000 in cruise ship head tax funds to the City of Ketchikan for improvements at the downtown dock.

Also on the agenda is a presentation about ways to improve congestion at Herring Cove, a popular destination for summertime tourists. An earlier report suggested infrastructure improvements, but the Assembly directed staff to come up with options.

The proposed solution would establish a program to issue permits for commercial tour operators taking passengers to Herring Cove. The permit would require the operator to have an off-street parking area at the destination and proof that the driver is trained in pedestrian safety. A permit fee or cruise head-tax funds could pay for the staff position needed to administer the program.

Another option would be to establish a new service area. Then that service area would hire an enforcement officer to make sure parking and safety rules are followed.

Also on Monday, the Assembly will consider a resolution reiterating the borough’s opposition to a “no-action” alternative for the state Department of Transportation’s Gravina Access Project. State DOT and Federal Highway Administration officials are scheduled to start preparing the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for that project next week.

The Assembly meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in Borough Assembly chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.

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