The Ketchikan City Council will talk Thursday about wooden benches along Dock Street that have prompted some complaints from business owners.
Although they are within the city, the benches are maintained by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, under the borough’s Parks and Recreation powers. The borough recently announced plans to remove the benches because of complaints over inappropriate use by homeless and/or inebriated people.
But, other citizens and the Ketchikan City Council opposed removing the benches. The Borough Assembly this week agreed to hold off on the plan, and talk further with city officials about the issue. One proposed solution was to install arm rests, which would help prevent people from sleeping on the benches.
At their last meeting, Council members talked about forming a coalition that could look at the root causes of homelessness and chronic inebriation. In a memo to the Council, City Manager Karl Amylon asks for more formal direction on whether to try forming such a committee.
In other matters, Amylon also asked for City Council input on what to do with the Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility, which the state plans to close next month. The property has been leased from the City of Ketchikan, and reverts back to the city when the state vacates the facility.
Amylon suggests that the city issue a request for proposals to see whether there is any interest within the community to use the facility.
Thursday’s meeting starts at 7 p.m. in City Council chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.