Kodiak’s city parks will now have hours of operation. Last night the Kodiak city council passed winter and summer hours that run from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. to 12 midnight, respectively.
But those weren’t the hours the council faced at the beginning of last night’s meeting. The original hours suggested for the summer were from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Councilman Charlie Davidson moved to amend those hours and allow for later usage, specifically during the summer months with more daylight. Councilman Terry Haines also supported later hours.
“Well I’m going to support this amendment because I think it reflects the reality of our citizens in the summer time. Some of them don’t even get off work until 10 p.m. at night. And I think that we should have our new facilities as accessible to our public as we can.”
Councilman Randy Bishop disagreed with those later hours and said the goal of implementing hours is to protect the city’s investments.
“And we’ve yet to have a summer to see the use or usage it will have. Until then I don’t think, and I’ve talked to a lot of people, and the younger generation says move it to midnight, the older generation says keep it at 11 p.m. So it’s a ying and yang. But my personal opinion, I think we should keep it at 11 p.m. And if it’s a controversy I think we can later revisit this issue.”
But Davidson countered that the areas could still be protected without limiting access.
“This council has just spent quite a bit of sum of money for some surveillance equipment tin our parks. So that’s an added measure for our security in these facilities, specifically the ones that were damaged recently. So I would hope that they would see that money as well spent and that we could keep them open for just one more hour in the summer time when you have so many fishing boats coming and going at all hours of the day and night and to put yourself in a position like I’ve been in the past as a fishermen where you get in and might not have a place of residence here but you’re staying on the fishing boat and just want to get out and like I say hike on the trails. And at 11 p.m. there’s very few people I think that want to be law breakers and to make these people feel like they are going to be breaking the law, I’d rather see them walking in a park on Near Island than walking the streets.”
Councilman Rich Walker suggested passing the early hours, and revisiting the issue later if it seems like later hours are needed. However, Councilman Gabriel Saravia pointed out that the later hours came as a recommendation from the Parks and Rec Advisory Board, and thought the council should honor and trust the decision making of that board.
In the end the amendment to the motion came down to a tie vote, and Mayor Pat Branson was asked to voice in on the matter.
“And I will vote yes. And I will agree with Mr. Saravia and his notes about the advisory board. And I take into all my colleagues comments here that I’m sure we will be revisiting this as well again. Probably after the summer hours to see what happens. So, I just broke the tie.”
Winter hours will be from September 16 to April 14, and summer hours will be from April 15 until September 15.