Trash fees could rise by about $2.50 in Ketchikan later this year. That’s after the city council tentatively approved rate increases.

Ketchikan City Manager Karl Amylon blamed rising freight costs.

“When we brought the amendment to the solid waste disposal contract to the council back in March, we indicated that the pretty dramatic increases in fees were not going to be able to be sustained by the current billing structure,” Amylon said.

Public Works Director Mark Hilson added in a memo that those rates have only been hiked twice since 1994.

The rate for construction and other large commercial waste would also rise from $145 to $170 per ton.

The council unanimously approved the increases after a wide-ranging discussion on ways to cut the city’s waste costs. If approved in second reading next month, the new rates would take effect Dec. 1.

In other business, Ketchikan’s City Council unanimously approved a new tradition to open its meetings. Council Member Emily Chapel asked that the city recognize Ketchikan’s Indigenous inhabitants. The language of the land acknowledgement was suggested by Tongass Tribal Leader Richard Jackson.

“The Ketchikan City Council would like to respectfully acknowledge the traditional first people of this land in Ketchikan, the Tongass Tlingit people,” it reads.

It’s an idea Chapel first brought forward last month. It’ll come back for final approval at the council’s October 1 meeting.

And, finally, the council scheduled a special meeting to start its final review of two competing proposals to manage Ketchikan’s cruise docks. It’ll also evaluate the option of keeping the docks under city management. That meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23.