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The Ketchikan City Council Thursday night authorized moving forward with an ordinance allowing the sale of about 1,500 square feet of city-owned property on Water Street. The buyer would be K&B, LLC, which owns adjoining property. The purpose of buying the small pieces of city-owned land is to “square up” the company’s property and provide access to the waterfront promenade.

City of Ketchikan Public Works Director Mark Hilson answered questions about the planned use of the property and construction impacts. He says the impact would be temporary, with most of the work taking place outside the summer season. Hilson says the lots being purchased are small and would only be of value to the adjoining property owner, K&B LLC.

“These are small, triangular pieces. One is over 100 feet long and one-foot wide on one end. They’re really oddly shaped, so these aren’t really usable properties. They were cut off from the remaining tract with the construction of the promenade.”

The purchase price is $53,843, or about $35 per square foot.  Hilson says that’s the same price paid for the adjoining property.

Council member Dick Coose, participating by telephone, expressed concerns about managing access points to the promenade.

“So I think as it moves forward, we have to be in on the design and how they’re done so they don’t become obstructions.”

The council voted 6-0 to approve the ordinance to allow the sale. Council member Dave Kiffer was absent from Thursday’s meeting. The ordinance will be brought back for second reading.

At the beginning of Thursday’s meeting, City Mayor Bob Sivertsen read two proclamations. The first recognized Doug Ward for his service to the community.  He recently retired as director of shipyard development for Vigor Alaska.  Ward addressed the council.

“Truly it has been an honor to represent Ketchikan and be involved in the development of the shipyard over these years. Truly I’ve gotten more out of it than I think anybody has – the people I’ve gotten to meet and work with and places we’ve gone and seen. I’ve been around the world a couple of times because of that shipyard. And probably most gratifying is seeing those young people down there (at the shipyard) moving up in the world, buying houses, getting married and having kids. That’s why we did all this.”

Ward says he is not done, and recently got a license for his new business, “Industrial Development Service.”

The second proclamation was in recognition of The American Legion Centennial Day.  Jim Van Horn of the American Legion spoke about some of the projects the Ketchikan post has accomplished over the past 100 years. These include working with Native clans to bring totem poles to Ketchikan in the 1930s, sponsoring an oratorical contest, and helping with the local Shop With a Cop program. Van Horn spoke about the preamble to the organizations constitution which directs Legionnaires to work with the city, state and nation.

“And we take that to heart. We want to work with the city. That’s why we have joined the councils or the borough assemblies, and so forth, and we’re part of the community and we love this community or we wouldn’t live here. And we thank you very much for this recognition. One hundred years and it’s just beginning, or (is) the continuation.”

The council also entered into two executive sessions. The first was to discuss negotiation of an amendment to the city’s Berth 4 lease agreement with Ketchikan Dock Company. The amendment relates to dock modifications to accommodate larger cruise ships.  The second was to discuss the annual evaluation of City Manager Karl Amylon. No action was taken after each executive session.

The next Ketchikan City Council meeting is February 21.