The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly is still considering a resolution requesting a statewide rule for a 14-day quarantine for in-state and out-of-state travelers. The Ketchikan City Council passed a similar resolution urging the governor to take action earlier this month.
Assembly members Austin Otis and Felix Wong brought the proposal to assembly in early August. The assembly postponed the vote in order to soften some language — to call for a suggested quarantine for in-state travelers, as opposed to mandatory quarantine.
But borough officials recommend taking another tack — instead of asking the state for a voluntary quarantine recommendation, asking the state to require testing for most in-state travelers. The assembly will debate the details on Monday.
In other business, Ketchikan’s borough assembly will discuss how to spend more of its CARES Act federal funding. At the last meeting, finance director Cynna Gubatayao said that the borough needs to disburse $3.8 million of its initial CARES Act funding in order to receive the next distribution. As of last meeting, some $2.3 million remained to be allocated.
Borough finance officials recommend allocating more than $1.5 million in additional grants to businesses, roughly $1 million to child care providers, $350,000 for a second round of nonprofit grants and about $25,000 to the Alaska Municipal League for CARES Act reporting and support.
If the assembly approves these allocations, more than $1.2 million, or 12% of the total CARES Act funds would remain.
Borough staff have suggested putting some of that remaining money toward reimbursing nearly half a million dollars in Borough pandemic-related expenses. That’ll likely come forward at a future meeting.
In other business, the borough will also consider asking the state legislature to ban discrimination against lesbian, gay and transgender people in Alaska. Assembly members A.J. Pierce and Sven Westergard are asking the assembly to support a state law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
State lawmakers were considering legislation that would do just that. But the bills never made it out of committee.
Ketchikan’s City Council approved an ordinance barring discrimination against LGBTQ individuals within city limits. But Ketchikan’s borough government doesn’t have the authority to pass a similar measure within its jurisdiction.
Ketchikan’s borough assembly meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Assembly Chambers at the White Cliff Building on First Avenue. The agenda can be found online, and the meeting will be broadcast on local cable channels and at the borough’s website. Public comment will be heard at the beginning of the meeting.