Ketchikan International Airport on Gravina Island. (KRBD file photo)

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly last night voted unanimously to approve an approximately $3.9 million contract with Wasilla-based Wolverine Supply, Inc. for terminal remodel and roof renovations at Ketchikan International Airport. Assembly member Sue Pickrell was absent from Monday’s meeting.

In addition to repairing about 18,000 square feet of roof, the project updates the terminal’s HVAC system, electrical and mechanical systems, ceilings, lighting, carpets and tile. Work will start after the summer season, and the airport will remain fully operational during renovations. 

Prior to awarding of the contract, the assembly unanimously approved introduction of an ordinance for a loan of up to $592,000 from the Land Trust Fund to the Airport Enterprise Fund for the remodel project. The only assembly member to comment was Felix Wong.

“It seems pretty apparent that this is urgent work and I support it.”

The ordinance will come back to the assembly for second reading.

In other business, the assembly approved an ordinance amending the FY2018 budget for approximately $100,000 for a grandstand cover at the Ester Shea Track and Field. The appropriation comes from the Federal Grants Fund.

During public comment, Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce president Chelsea Goucher spoke about the chamber’s remote workers project. Goucher says the chamber is working with North Creative Designs to develop video clips and a social media campaign to promote Ketchikan as a location where people can work remotely.

“Nowadays with high internet speeds almost everywhere, including Ketchikan, and of course we have nice, low-cost power here. And we have a lot of the outdoor recreational opportunities that many remote workers and people working in the tech industries really enjoy.”

Goucher says they are not seeking funding from the borough, but are asking for formal support.

During the manager’s report, assistant borough manager Deanna Thomas says the borough will sign a memorandum of understanding with PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center to develop a tobacco-use prevention plan. Thomas also spoke about how China’s announcement on Friday imposing s 25 percent tariff on Alaska seafood might affect the borough .

“The raw fish tax budgeted in this next fiscal year for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough is $250,000. In case you were asked or wondering what the economic impact from the borough would be…potentially.”

Thursday’s meeting was very short, lasting less than 45 minutes. The assembly will not meet the first week of July because of the Independence Day holiday. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly is Monday, July 16th.