An ordinance that would provide bonuses for borough bus drivers to work through the summer months is in front of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly on Monday.
The borough’s public transit system has found it challenging to attract and retain bus drivers, especially during the summer months, according to the borough. Seasonal bus driver positions with tour companies pay more, allow drivers to accept tips, and provide bonuses such as discounts on cruises.
According to a graphic provided by the borough, the starting wage for Juneau bus drivers is nearly $10 an hour more than the starting wage for Ketchikan bus drivers. Additionally, the starting wage for some private Ketchikan transportation companies is higher than that offered by the borough.
The Ketchikan borough is working with a firm on a compensation study for all borough positions. In the meantime, though, borough managers suggest an incentive to attract and keep bus drivers this summer. They have proposed a $2,000 bonus for any driver who works for the borough April through September without taking more than five days of leave.
Also Monday, the assembly will consider repealing the Herring Cove Tourism Management Program, which has had limited success because of the borough’s lack of enforcement powers. Managers propose to instead start work on a neighborhood plan for Herring Cove that would address tourism concerns.
In other matters, the assembly will again consider enrolling in the National Association of Counties “Live Healthy” medical, dental and prescription drug program. The motion was postponed from a previous meeting.
Monday’s 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.