Local News

Assembly passes resolutions that support local fishing industry

The Wrangell Borough Assembly passed several motions at their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday evening that aim to improve the lives and lots of local fishermen. The first resolution was written in conjunction with the City of Petersburg supporting the development of more local fish hatcheries. Assembly member Bill Privett spoke in favor of the motion but acknowledged that it’s a complex topic.

“No matter what we do here tonight, the bottom line is there are going to be greater minds than ours and the biologists that are involved in this whole process who are going to make this all work if it all comes to fruition,” he said. “So this is just a great resolution and we should all support it.”

To move forward with a new hatchery, Alaska Department of Fish & Game Private Non-Profit Hatchery Coordinator Sam Rabung said in an interview that a group would need to submit a pre-application. “What happens is an individual or an entity has a desire and an idea and they provide Fish and Game with what they are looking for in terms of species, number, and location. And what we’ll do is we’ll take a look at that, and we’ll analyze that and give our best estimate of what the effects of that production would be.”

The resolution passed unanimously.

The council also fully supported a motion to use Alaska Capital Grants funds to contract PND Engineers to design the pier’s new travel lift improvements. The company designed the existing pier. The city is upgrading their current lift from 150 to 250 ton loads, allowing them to move and service larger boats. Privett said this will also benefit the community.

“The 250 ton lift will give us the capacity that will pick up a tender the size of the Grey Sea, as an example, which we can’t pick right now. And there are a lot of other tenders that’s laying out there, so to speak, that really want to get their surface work done here in Wrangell, so this is really a win-win for us.”

The contract is for a fixed fee of $94,300. The council also passed a contract with PND for the Marine Services Center concrete paving design for about $224,000.

In other council news, Mike Symons resigned from the Assembly because of his new position as general manager of KSTK. His seat will be filled during the October general election.

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