Ketchikan’s city manager is recommending against letting cruise lines moor their ships this summer at the downtown docks while the industry rides out the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, Ketchikan’s port and harbors director reported he’d received calls from cruise lines expressing interest in the idea.

Some council members voiced support for the prospect. But a majority agreed to defer the question to Thursday’s meeting. 

In a memo to the City Council, Karl Amylon says allowing the ships to dock would “only add more stress to a community that is attempting to cope with challenges it has not had to deal with before.”

Also Thursday, the council will consider whether to hire Ketchikan-based PK Builders to build a new salmon ladder viewing platform downtown. The $170,000 contract is part of the “Salmon Walk” project green-lit by the council in February. 

Finally, the council will consider issuing $11.5 million in bonds to fund an undersea fiber optic cable connecting Ketchikan and Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Voters overwhelmingly approved the project last October.

City officials say the new connection will increase bandwidth available to customers on Ketchikan’s city-owned broadband network. 

Thursday’s meeting will be held by teleconference following an emergency ordinance passed last month. The council chambers will be closed to the public as a precaution against spreading the coronavirus.

Residents seeking to testify can either email the clerk’s office at before 4 p.m. Thursday or call 228-5658 prior to the meeting.

The clerk’s office says those who wish to provide live testimony will be called back during the meeting. Written comments will be read into the record.

Ketchikan’s City Council meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. Thursday. It will be streamed online at the city’s website and broadcast on local cable channels.