Ketchikan’s Borough Assembly is set to approve on Monday an updated agreement with the City of Ketchikan for dispatch services that would go from a flat-fee to a per-call basis for fire and EMS calls. The current agreement dates back to 2014 requiring the borough to pay $15,000 annually with cost-of-living adjustments. Based on that formula, the cost to the borough this year is approximately $16,700.

Several years ago, the City approached the Borough asking to revisit the agreement as labor and equipment costs for the services have grown significantly, and more of a burden is placed on city taxpayers under the current formula. The proposed agreement is designed to more equitably distribute costs according to call dispatch usage, the city says. 

A memo submitted by Borough Clerk Kacie Paxton shows how costs would be distributed under the new proposal. Based on 2018 data, cost per call was approximately $150 that year. That year’s projected cost was around $75,000 for the borough’s two volunteer fire departments dispatched by the city. 

If approved, the City will bill the Borough each March based on the previous year’s call numbers. The agreement was already approved by the South and North Tongass service area boards and now needs to be approved by the City Council and Borough Assembly to go into effect.

Also Monday, the Assembly will hear a presentation by the City of Saxman on the Saxman Cultural Park and Harbor Master Plan. The community plans to offer visitors what they describe as an authentic Alaska Native cultural experience and to strengthen and expand activities in Saxman. It allows for future growth, and would improve the waterfront, cultural park and surrounding recreational spaces. A Commercial Passenger Vessel fund grant was used to finance the plan.

The Assembly is also scheduled to meet in executive session to discuss negotiations with four labor unions: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots; Alaska Public Employees Association/AFT; and Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific.  

The Ketchikan Borough Assembly meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday in Borough Assembly chambers in the White Cliff Building. The meeting will be televised on the KPU local channel and live-streamed on the Borough website. Public comment will be heard at the beginning of the meeting.