If Ketchikan can’t get a handle on the spread of COVID-19, City Manager Karl Amylon told the city council, cruise lines may decide to skip Alaska’s First City.
City officials are asking Ketchikan’s city council to consider layoffs to help close a nearly $9 million hole in the city budget.
Business owners and local officials say they’re worried that keeping guests in a bubble would squeeze out most of Southeast Alaska’s small tour companies, retailers and restaurants.
American Cruise Lines’ plan for its 175-passenger ship Constellation requires passengers and crew to be tested for COVID-19 before boarding, preferably in their home community.
An early version of American Cruise Lines’ plan falls short of proposed standards Southeast ports are developing with the Alaska Municipal League.
Reconfiguring Ketchikan’s downtown cruise dock to accommodate larger ships could cost up to $150 million. But improvements aren’t optional if Ketchikan wants to remain a premier cruise destination.
Renovation designs are complete for the city-owned building, which houses the Tongass Historical Museum and city Museum Department offices, and the council will vote on hiring Dawson Construction as the contractor for the project.
Some Southeast Alaska voters will consider how to raise revenue and spend it on Tuesday’s municipal elections.
A Ketchikan official wants to sell a dam project under development.