At Tuesday night's Kodiak Borough
Assembly-City Council joint work session, the two governing bodies took up the
issue of attracting a University
of Alaska Fairbanks
research vessel to Kodiak. In a March letter to the City Council, City Mayor
Carolyn Floyd and City Manager Linda Freed, Borough Mayor Jerome Selby made a
case for home porting UAF's Alaska Region Research Vessel in Kodiak.
Selby said that the timing of
examining that possibility is appropriate as the city engages in development of
a comprehensive plan for waterfront property and facilities. He also said with
the Kodiak Fisheries
and the proposed Alaska Department of Fish and Game research facility, home
porting the ARRV in Kodiak has the potential to make it a hub for marine
research in Alaska.
Freed expressed her concerns about
where the approximately 200 too 300-foot vessel would berth, given that the
NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson and the Alaska Marine Highway's Ferry Tustumena
already have dedicated space. She also said Kodiak is in competition with
Seward, which has already made its interest known and looked into various
options for home porting the ARRV there.
Borough assemblywoman Pat Branson
said Kodiak should use the competition with Seward for the right to homeport
the vessel as a motivating factor in the Borough's and City's collaborative
-- (Vessel 1 38 sec. "I don't want that to be ... just spur us forward.")
City councilman Jack Maker expressed
his concerns about where to put the vessel as well as how to fund any new
facilities that would have to be built in order to accommodate it, but he said
he likes the idea in theory.
-- (Vessel 2 36 sec. "The city dock between ... a lot on our horizon.")
councilman Terry Haines emphasized the benefits home porting the vessel in
Kodiak would have on the community as a whole and supported exploring the
feasibility of bringing the ARRV here.
-- (Vessel 3 49 sec. "The municipality has put ... if it's practical.")
That next step, Borough Assembly and City Council
members agreed, is for the city to address a letter to the University as well
congressional delegation and state legislators making Kodiak's interests known
and exploring funding opportunities necessary to lure the ARRV to Kodiak.