The Ketchikan City Council meets Thursday night, and among the many topics will be a discussion about Hillside Road. The city owns and maintains that road, but only up to a certain point.
Beyond that point are two homes, and the homeowners hope the city will make a few repairs to their crumbling street.
Kurtis Klose approached the Council in April, and said he bought his home in 1995, when Hillside Road still was gravel.
He said the city later paved the street, including his section, and maintained it for a few years, but then stopped. Klose said that the situation has become dangerous.
“Two of the guard rails have fallen down into the canyon, off of the road,” he said. “We’re losing the road. If it keeps going like it has been, in a few years, we’ll lose access to our house, basically.”
City Public Works Director Clif Allen agrees that portion of the street is in poor condition, but said it’s not the city’s responsibility. He said it’s on private property, and the road is not up to city standards.
Allen said settling is so severe that tree stumps left under the road are starting to poke through.
Mayor Lew Williams III said the city could help by doing some of the minor maintenance it’s done in the past, such as snow removal. Williams said it’s unlikely the city will accept complete responsibility for that section of Hillside.
“The city management says it’s not part of the road,” he said. “That would be a Council decision. I don’t think from talking to members I’ve talked to, there’s not a lot of support to accept the road.”
Williams said there are some things that Council members seem willing to do, such as maintain log barriers that the city installed many years ago as guard rails
Williams agrees that portion of the street is rough.
“Plus they had to tear up some pavement to work on the Klose’s sewer, so it’s not in the greatest shape,” he said.
The issue is not new. The homeowners tried in the past to convince the city to maintain that part of the street. In 2001, then-City Attorney Steve Schweppe responded to the request, and said there’s nothing the city can do about what the city considers a driveway on private property.
Also on Thursday, the Council will consider two appeals from BAM construction for projects the city wants to award to S&S General Contractors.
S&S submitted the lowest bid for each project. The first is a $460,000 job to improve Copper Ridge Lane where the new library is going up. The second is about $150,000 to replace equipment at the wastewater treatment plant.
BAM was the next-lowest bidder for both contracts. The company noted that for the first project, S&S failed to fill in the date on an addendum and didn’t submit a non-collusion document. For the second job, BAM claimed that S&S miscalculated a cost, didn’t attend a mandatory pre-bid meeting and didn’t submit a non-collusion document.
The Council will vote on the appeals before deciding whether to award the contracts.
Thursday’s Council meeting starts at 7 p.m. in City Council chambers. Public comment will be heard at the beginning of the meeting.