The Ketchikan City Council has lots of items on its long agenda Thursday. One is a public hearing on a community development grant for Women In Safe Homes to potentially take over and renovate a former youth detention center.
Another is a proposed ordinance that would prohibit the intentional feeding of wild bald eagles, crows, ravens or seagulls within city limits, including on private property. Violators would be fined $500 per incident.
The ordinance is in response to a local tour company that started baiting eagles on its property this summer. The activity led to complaints from neighboring residents.
The bird-baiting ordinance will be considered in first reading. If approved on Thursday, it would have to come back for a second vote.
The public hearing for WISH’s building renovation proposal is a required part of the state’s competitive community block grant program, according to a memo from grants administrator Chet Hugo.
The former Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility was run by the state on city-owned land. The building reverted to city ownership when the state ended operations there in 2016. The city has been looking for a use for the building since then.
Hugo writes that city staff and WISH agree that the first block grant application should be for design and engineering costs, estimated at $92,000. Once that work is complete, the city and WISH could apply for the maximum grant amount of $850,000 to help with construction.
Overall construction costs are estimated at nearly $1.3 million.
WISH provides emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence. The renovation would allow WISH to provide more space for that service.
Hugo adds that two other entities recently expressed interest in the property: Nonprofit organization Love In Action, and a private party. Proposals from both are expected in time for the council’s Sept. 20th meeting.
Also Thursday, the council will consider hiring consultants to help the city find alternative financing for its planned port development project. Earlier this summer, cost estimates came in much higher than expected, and the project is on hold.
In other matters, the council will vote on a memorandum of agreement between Ketchikan Public Utilities and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. In that agreement, KPU would add $8.50-per-hour to the base wage for journeyman metermen and electricians, in hopes of attracting and retaining workers.
In mid-August, the council approved a $2-per-hour wage increase for KPU journeymen linemen and apprentices, for similar reasons.
An executive session to discuss the new MOA is on the agenda.
Thursday’s meeting starts at 7 p.m. in city council chambers at City Hall. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.