Local News

City hopes to recover Duty Free demolition costs

The Ketchikan City Council meets Thursday in regular session, and among the items on the agenda is a resolution to move forward with recovering the costs of demolishing a Water Street building that had been damaged in a fire.

The old Alaska Duty Free building was alongside the downtown tunnel, and burned in September of 2011. After asking the owner, Joseph Machini, to take care of the structure, the city eventually opted in September of 2012 to hire a local contractor to demolish it.

City code allows the city to try and recover the approximately $125,000 in costs, which includes asbestos removal. Thursday’s resolution starts that process by scheduling a public hearing on the issue. If approved, the hearing would start 7 p.m. April 17th in City Council chambers. That coincides with the Council’s second regular meeting of that month.

Also Thursday, the Council will talk about long-term plans for the city-owned Centennial Building, which houses the Tongass Historical Museum. In a memo to the Council, City Manager Karl Amylon asks for specific direction on whether the city should continue to operate the museum. If the answer is yes, Amylon would like to be told whether to build a new museum in a new location or fix the Centennial Building.

Upgrades to the Centennial Building have been estimated at up to $8 million, with a new building costing about $9.5 million.

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

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