The Ketchikan City Council continued talking Monday about next year’s spending plan.

The 2018 City of Ketchikan general budget totals just shy of $26 million. City Manager Karl Amylon told the council during an earlier budget meeting that the spending plan is “status quo,” with no changes planned to levels of service or staffing.

The council spent Monday reviewing specific sections of the general budget. One was the city-owned Bayview Cemetery, which is running low on space.

Ash trees line a path at Ketchikan’s Bayview Cemetery. (KRBD photo by Maria Dudzak)

Cemetery caretaker Steve Scheldt said about 40 people have been laid to rest at the local cemetery this year.

“And that’s about as high as it’s been since I took this job 14 years ago,” he said. “I guess maybe it’s a good place to make my plug: You folks need to consider where you’re going to expand to, because you’re out of ground.”

The council also reviewed the solid waste division’s budget. Members discussed China’s recent proposal to limit the import of recycling. Solid Waste Supervisor Lenny Neely told the council that such a limit could affect Ketchikan’s ability to offer recycling of some items.

Council member Janalee Gage asked how many local residents were fined in the past year for having garbage out in violation of the city’s bear-control ordinance.

Neely said the division doesn’t fine anyone – that’s up to the police department.

“If I get calls, which I tend to get a few, I go and visit people and give them literature and talk to them about what they can do, putting a strap on and stuff,” he said. “I’ll do that once or twice. The third time, I call the (police) chief, and he’ll send an officer out there. That usually gets their attention.”

The council also talked about infrastructure repair and maintenance plans, and upgrades at the police department.

The council will continue budget deliberations this month with special meetings set for Dec. 11 and Dec. 14, in addition to regular meetings this Thursday and Dec. 21st.

During those meetings, the council also will review the draft Ketchikan Public Utilities budget, which totals about $52 million.

Both budgets are expected to be adopted during the council’s Dec. 21st meeting.