The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly meets in regular session on Monday, and one of the likely topics of discussion is a follow-up to a recent special meeting about development of the borough’s Revilla Road property.
Ward Cove Group has proposed developing 300 acres of borough property, building a senior center, family housing and retail space. The vote to allow exploratory work to continue was close, with Mayor David Landis breaking the tie in favor of moving forward.
One of the snags is over the potential price tag, if Ward Cove Group wants to eventually buy the land. In his report to the Assembly, Borough Manager Dan Bockhorst writes that he and other borough officials met with the company’s president, David Spokely, for three hours to talk about the value of the property. They were not able to reach an agreement.
In his proposal to the borough, Spokely cited a price of $1.5 million for the land. The borough has suggested a price closer to $5 million. The land has not been formally appraised, however, and that’s one option Bockhorst has offered the Assembly. Another option is to solicit bids for the purchase of all or portions of the land.
An appraisal would cost the borough about $20,000; possibly more, if the borough chooses to appraise separate portions individually. However, Bockhorst writes that it’s challenging right now to obtain an accurate appraisal, because there’s no delineation of wetlands, which are more expensive to develop. A wetlands study would cost the borough about $50,000.
Bockhorst also notes that there are unrecorded easements that also would affect the value. He is asking Assembly members for their thoughts on the issue.
Also Monday, the Assembly will hear an update from OceansAlaska President Tomi Marsh, and will consider an ordinance increasing the spending authority of the Ketchikan School District. That increase is due to a higher-than-anticipated enrollment.
The Assembly 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.