Ketchikan’s city hall on June 11, 2020. (Maria Dudzak/KRBD)

A long-planned link between Ketchikan and Metlakatla’s electrical grids could take a big step towards becoming a reality on Thursday. Ketchikan’s City Council is scheduled to vote on a power sales agreement that would allow the city-owned utility to sell electricity to Metlakatla Power and Light.

“Such a project has been conceptually discussed for many years, but until recently, there has been little advancement,” City Manager Delilah Walsh said in a memo to the City Council.

The 20-year agreement would allow Metlakatla to purchase power from Ketchikan Public Utilities at the same rate as industrial customers: 9.63 cents per kilowatt-hour, plus service fees. Ketchikan’s utility would be able to purchase power back from Metlakatla Power and Light at a starting rate of 5.6 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The agreement has been approved by the board of Metlakalta’s utility and the reserve’s governing body, the Metlakatla Indian Community Tribal Council. Ketchikan’s City Council will consider the measure Thursday.

In other business, the council is scheduled to debate whether to support Ketchikan Indian Community’s efforts to make Ketchikan residents eligible to participate in federal subsistence hunts and fisheries. A regional subsistence advisory committee is scheduled to consider the federally recognized tribe’s application to designate Ketchikan as a rural community next week. Ketchikan’s Borough Assembly greenlit a letter of support at its most recent meeting on Monday. The nearby community of Saxman received a rural designation in 2016.

Finally, the City Council is scheduled to hear a presentation from the Ketchikan Wellness Coalition on what it calls its Crisis Now program. The program’s director is scheduled to update the council on the group’s progress building a new system to respond to mental health emergencies.Ketchikan’s City Council meets at 7 p.m. Thursday in its chambers at City Hall. Members of the public have a chance to speak to the council at the beginning of the meeting and during public hearings. The full agenda is available online, where the meeting is also livestreamed.