Ketchikan’s city council will discuss its next steps after failing another raw water test at its Nov. 7 meeting. That’s just one of the items on the council’s very full agenda.
Recent test results exceeded the threshold for fecal coliform bacteria in the city’s raw water supply. That’s according to a memo from Ketchikan Public Utilities to city officials. It says the city’s drinking water remains safe to drink, since raw water is disinfected before it goes to residents’ taps. However, Ketchikan’s water isn’t filtered.
The failed test for the month of October means that the city may be in violation of a 2014 settlement that allowed it to continue serving residents without installing a filtration plant. That means it’ll likely have to negotiate a new settlement with environmental regulators and build an expensive plant to filter the water.
The council will consider Thursday whether to spend $425,000 to contract with Jacobs C2HM, an engineering firm, to negotiate a new settlement with regulators and do preliminary engineering work for a water filtration facility.
Council members will also hear a presentation from PeaceHealth about hospital price transparency and billing practices, two issues that have ignited public outcry in the past.
After a live auction for Ketchikan’s former Main Street fire station had no takers, the council will also be asked to provide city staff with direction on what to do with the property. The council may ask for a sealed bid auction, another public auction with a lower starting bid or simply instruct staff to list the property for sale.
The city council will also discuss the Ketchikan Public Library’s strategic plan and consider a contract for year-end audits, among other things. We’ve got a link to the full agenda here.