Harbor Plan Divides City Council Members


Maggie Wall/KMXT

A proposal to establish a paid parking area for fishermen to use when out fishing continues to frustrate Kodiak City Council members, city staff and fishermen. KMXT’s Maggie Wall has more.

-((Harbor Parking 5:08 "The Kodiak Port….March 31. SOC."))

The Kodiak Port and Harbor Advisory Board and the harbor staff could not come to agreement on specifics of a proposed 6-month trial parking plan at last week’s (Feb 24) regular city council meeting.

Kodiak Mayor Carolyn Floyd took the unusual action of directing a staff and two council members to meet with PHAB members to try to iron out problems before the matter comes up again at the March 31 regular meeting.

-((Harbor Parking 1 :18 ….do it."))

The mayor assigned Deputy Harbormaster Lonnie White, Council members John Whiddon and Tom Walters, along with City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski to meet and hash out differences.

The mayor’s action took place near the end of last week’s council meeting. Earlier in the evening the council approved a resolution for a 6-month trial period with paid parking in specific areas of the harbor area.

However, council member Pat Branson moved to reconsider the resolution during council comments with the idea of taking another look at the resolution at the next regular meeting.

The parking plan was designed with several ends in mind. One of those objectives is to help fishermen leave their vehicles while out fishing. Another is to help law enforcement determine which vehicles have an owner planning to return and which vehicles are abandoned.

The plan has since caused a rift between fishermen who want a flat fee for the 6-month trial period and harbor personnel who prefer a 30-day rate. PHAB members argued that fishermen often need much less time than 30 days, so they would be forced to pay for 30 days each month when they might only use a few of those days. The flat rate fee would allow fishermen to use the long-term parking as needed throughout the 6-month period.

Council member Gabriel Saravia expressed his frustration over the divisiveness of the issue:

-((Harbor Parking 2 1:23 "I agree to reconsider…not like it."))

Deputy Harbormaster Lonnie White told the council that the whole process has been painful and that even fishermen and PHAB members are divided on the issue.

-((Harbor Parking 3 1:01 "Mayor…on the board."))

Lonnie White.

The council will revisit the harbor parking issue at its next regular meeting which is set for March 31.

I’m Maggie Wall.


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