Public showers are a rare commodity in Kodiak. Harbor Laundry was the only business downtown that offered public showers for transients, and they closed last winter. Mary Donaldson has more.
Harbor Laundry, which provided laundromat and public shower services, used to be open on Shelikof Street. Since the business never turned a profit, owner Kathy Sargent decided to close its doors in December. She says the combination of poor fishing, and rising fuel costs over the past six years are what ultimately shut her business down. Now, when fisherman and tourists arrive to the docks of Kodiak, there are no convenient showers nearby to accommodate them. Harbormaster Marty Owen says the talk of adding public showers to the Harbormaster office downtown have barely begun, but he says the need for them downtown is essential.
(Owen 1 :26s “…and that’s just one of them.”)
The city used to offer public showers in the past, but about 20 years ago decided to shut down when the private business, Harbor Laundry, opened its doors. The United Fishermen’s Marketing Association now utilizes the old shower space as a storage area. Owen says the next step is to show the city council that public showers downtown are needed.
(Owen 2 :18s “…to build something.”)
City councilman Jack Maker says 200-thousand dollars for potential engineering and design of a facility is in the budget, but that the amount seems high.
(Maker 1 :14s “…for 200-thousand dollars.”)
He says that before the money is spent, the council will have to approve it, and the issue will be up for discussion.
(Maker 2 :15s “…do their laundry.”)
Although there are no public showers downtown, Quality Cleaners, which is located next to Spenard Builders Supply off of Mill Bay Road, began offering public showers about a month ago. Employee Kathy Meecham says they opened shower facilities to fill the need for public showers in town.
(Meecham 1 :10s “…at the same time.”)
She says they currently have one public shower available, and plan on installing at least one more in the future. From Saint Paul Harbor, Quality Cleaners is 1.2 miles away, while the old laundromat and shower facility was located just across the street. The public showers are available at Quality Cleaners 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. City Manager Linda Fried says the city council can choose to continue discussions on the public shower facilities being built downtown, but only if it is decided to be a necessity, since shower facilities are now open at Quality Cleaners.
I’m Mary Donaldson.