Crab Fest and the new city library were the main items on the agenda at last night’s Kodiak City Council regular meeting.
Earlier this year the Kodiak chapter of the Pioneers of Alaska circulated a petition that asked the city council to bring the Crab Festival parade back to downtown. The parade was moved to Mill Bay Road during the reconstruction of the Y two years ago and hasn’t returned to downtown since. While the group was able to collect several hundred signatures, the public sentiment petition doesn’t hold much sway. Petitioners would need to organize a more formal effort to further discussion with the city council and the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, which organizes Crab Fest.
City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski explained why the city council should move ahead with issuing a permit as requested by the chamber of commerce for use of public property.
"The organizing committee, including our police chief, feels that the current route is much safer, the road is wider, and we don’t have the authority to close Rezanof down drive which would require permit and insurance through the State of Alaska and so forth. So I think these people just wanted the city council and city to know that they objected and they were hoping it would return to the original route. This is something, in my opinion, that the Chamber of Commerce has their committee working on all year and the council has always acted on the recommendation of that committee and I believe that I can support the recommendations of that committee."
The city council voted unanimously to grant the permit.
A resolution passed that authorizes the acquisition of 2,000 square feet of land from the Kodiak Island Borough for construction of the new library. Kodiak Public Library Association Board of Directors member Paul Converse spoke at last night’s meeting. Converse informed the council that clearing of the site would take place soon as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service restricts cutting trees between April 15 and July 15. He said some rotting trees will be cut for safety.
"What we did was identify some trees that are viable and have the best possibility of remaining viable in the future and we’re going to work hard to protect those. I can’t guarantee that we’ll protect all of those, we’ll see how things go as we work the site but we are going to do what we can to protect the viable large spruce."
The council also approved a formal library donor recognition policy and authorized submission of a grant application to the Rasmuson Foundation to help fund construction of the new library.