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City Passes Duty-Free Ordinance
by Joseph Branco


January 07, 2005

Ketchikan, Alaska - In a unanimous decision Thursday night, the Ketchikan City Council passed legislation requiring duty-free business to have a vendor's agreement with the City for use of City docks. Vendors and cruise ships that use City docks have agreements for the use of the property and are subject to concession and/or moorage fees. Prior to the ordinance, duty-free businesses were largely operating on City docks without concession agreements and without contributing to the Ketchikan economy.

This ordinance essentially levels the playing field for all outfits utilizing City dock property. The new ordinance explains that the City's port facilities are in place as a revenue source for the community of Ketchikan and to provide local businesses a place to directly contact or provide services to cruise ships. According to the new ordinance, duty-free businesses will now be required to enter into a concession agreement with the City and receive approval from the City Council.

The City Council also delayed a decision regarding stop-sign placement in the Third-Avenue neighborhood. In response to several complaints over stop-sign placement in the neighborhood following the completion of the bypass, the City committed to evaluating the issue. After some public comments regarding the stop-sign issue, the Council voted to defer the decision pending further research. Specifically, the Council would like to contact and get feedback from homeowners in the area whose fences block a comfortable view of busy intersections.

The City Council also unanimously approved the first draft of a 10 percent moorage rate increase for the use of City harbors. An increase of $5 for monthly parking permits was passed. The Council opted not to pay between $5,000 and $25,000 for a space in the "North to Alaska" book. Following the increase in moorage rates, the higher parking rates, and the added duty-free ordinance to generate more revenue for the City, the Council granted raises to City Manager Karl Amylon, City Attorney Steve Schweppe, and City Clerk Katy Suiter.

The next City Council meeting is set for Thursday, January 20th.




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