KIB Assembly Considers Sole Source Contract with A-1 Timber

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly passed amendments to its contract with the joint borough and city fisheries analyst Heather McCarty last night at a special meeting. It viewed changes which include the requirement that McCarty provide monthly reports, that she receive a performance evaluation every six months, and that she hand in a list of current and new clients. Assemblyman Mel Stephens has been adamant about discontinuing the contract, and his opinion remained unchanged at the special meeting.

“I mean, basically you’ve had a contractor who did not comply with the original contract. When that was pointed out, that she was supposed to do certain things, we had members of the Fisheries Work Group and others rising to her defense, oh, we didn’t ask her to do that, or Bud told her she didn’t have to. Despite the fact that the contract said it can’t be amended except in writing.”

Assemblyman Kyle Crow, who won a seat on the assembly in October and is now a borough representative on the Kodiak Fisheries Work Group, said he needs the services McCarty provides.

“I’m gonna go ahead and support this only because you guys have asked me to sit on this, appointed me sit on this committee. I can’t do this without a good consultant. I’ve been trying to study as much as I could and doing as much homework as I can, reading library books, going to the Fish Tech and talking to biologists and talking to every fisherman I can and trying to get on a couple of fishing boats so that I can understand exactly hands-on what’s going on.”

And Crow said he would hold the analyst up to certain standards and expectations, which he would demand in order to be effective himself.

The motion to amend the contract carried five to one with Stephens against.

At the end of the meeting, the assembly brought up the appraisal of Chiniak timber which was burned in the Twin Creeks fire. It continued on that subject in the work session that followed.

The assembly is currently in discussion about who to contract to harvest the damaged trees and is considering a sole source contract with A-1 Timber. That means that the assembly would not put out a bid for other contractors, but instead strike a deal with A-1 directly.

A-1 Timber is already present in the Chiniak area and furthermore holds a lease on the LASH dock, where companies store logs and load ships. The contract expires in 2018 and A-1’s monopoly on that space may contribute to it being the most likely candidate.

Kodiak Borough Mayor Jerrol Friend suggested A-1 give a presentation to the assembly.

“A-1’s been out there and they’ve done this stuff, and they’ve got information that might help us derive the questions of what we want on the contract, not necessarily saying what we’re gonna do. ‘Cause, I’ll tell you what, when I talked these guys, they brought up things that I had no idea about. If you do replant, how many trees per acre? They’re gonna say, these are the questions that you guys need to answer.”

He said they could learn about their options in the Chiniak area. For instance, ways to treat slash piles, which are the fallen limbs, pine needles, and other remnants from timber harvesting.

“Separating the slash piles where the limbs will be stacked up and available on the logging roads for people to come and get for firewood. We could take the rest of the limbs and everything, stack ‘em up into piles, kinda clean out around ‘em, have ‘em for burn piles off in there. Leaving certain areas – they know the area – leaving certain areas for habitat.”

Friend said they’d bring the issue up again at the next assembly work session, which is scheduled for March 31.

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