Local News

Assembly to vote on OceansAlaska, library $

Public hearings regarding funding for OceansAlaska and the Ketchikan Public Library are on the agenda for Monday’s Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly meeting.

An ordinance was introduced July 7th to provide a $144,000 grant to OceansAlaska, and to direct Borough Manager Dan Bockhorst to investigate a possible $600,000 loan to the nonprofit shellfish seed producer. That loan would be paid back over 20 years.

In the agenda statement for that ordinance, borough staff writes that if the loan were successfully negotiated, the grant would be rolled into the loan, which would be paid out to OceansAlaska over four years. OceansAlaska officials hope to have details of the loan completed by this fall.

The ordinance regarding library funding also was introduced on July 7th. That measure calls for restoring more than $400,000 in borough funding for the city-owned library.

On a related note, in his report to the Assembly, Bockhorst asks for four-hands direction regarding a suggestion from the City Council that the borough consider taking over library powers.

Bockhorst writes that such a transfer would be complex. Some of the issues include who would take responsibility for the $4.3 million debt that the city holds for the new library, what method would be used for such a transfer, and how transferring library powers might affect taxpayers.

Bockhorst asks the Assembly whether he should investigate the issue further.

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

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