Local News

Chloramine petition review still under way

At deadline Friday, a petition to place the chloramine water treatment issue in front of City of Ketchikan voters still was undergoing a review by the city clerk and attorney.

Petition sponsors turned in the petition on Wednesday, and say they collected 622 signatures. They needed 356 signatures of registered city voters. As of Friday afternoon, the clerk was still reviewing the signatures to make sure they fell under those regulations.

Even if sponsors have enough valid signatures, the petition still must make it past a legal review, which likely won’t be completed for at least another week.

If it is approved, the city must schedule a vote on the initiative within two months. The ballot question would ask city voters whether to prohibit the city from using chloramine as a water disinfection treatment.

While the initiative process moves forward, the city continues with plans to start the chloramine system on Monday. The city has been moving toward that process for about 10 years.

A group called United Citizens for Better Water formed this winter to oppose the switch, primarily citing concerns over the possible health effects of chloramine. That group is spearheading the ballot initiative process.

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