A first reading of an ordinance to limit commercial distribution of e-scooters and other “micro-mobility devices” was approved Monday by the Ketchikan City Council.
The ordinance will come back for a second vote. If adopted, it will make it illegal for a business that rents e-scooters to allow the devices to be used on any public property within the City of Ketchikan, including sidewalks and streets.
Council Member Lew Williams III said some cities have experienced problems with e-scooter use.
“Portland has a Facebook page, Take Back Our Sidewalks, so it might be a good idea to get a hold of this early instead of just letting it open up,” he said. “If we want to get into it, do it where we can make sure it doesn’t become a big problem.”
The proposed ordinance called for a sunset in 2020. Williams proposed removing the sunset completely, and that amendment passed unanimously. The main motion also passed unanimously.
Council Member Dave Kiffer explained that the ordinance will regulate a specific kind of device.
“This does not prevent people from using wheelchairs or things of that ilk,” he said. “What it does basically prevent is someone coming down, setting up a stand, having a bazillion scooters, which we all know are going to end up in the bay.”
The council also discussed fully funding a new city flag. However, that motion failed 3-4. Council Members Dick Coose, Mark Flora, Williams and Judy Zenge voted no.
In other matters, Council Member Sam Bergeron addressed fireworks during his comment time. He said the community display on July 4th was impressive, but he was unhappy with neighborhood fireworks.
“We don’t ever leave Ketchikan on the Fourth of July because we’re afraid our house is going to get burned down from knuckleheads letting off fireworks,” he said. “That’s not a joke.”
Bergeron said he would like a complete prohibition of fireworks in the city.
Monday’s council meeting was rescheduled from last week because of the Fourth of July holiday. A special council meeting is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Ted Ferry Civic Center, for the council to consider a Request for Proposals for reconfiguration of the downtown cruise dock.
Another special council meeting is July 17 to hear a presentation of the updated compensation plan. The next regular Ketchikan City Council meeting is July 18.