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City of Kodiak looking for a new official seal

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The official seal of the City of Kodiak was first drafted in 1978, and last updated over 30 years ago. So, the Kodiak City Council has decided to work on a new one.

Currently, the seal features drawings of an upright Kodiak bear, a salmon, a crab, and, in what might be confusing for people who have recently moved to Kodiak, a shrimp. The shrimp industry dried up in Kodiak in the late 1980s.

As City Mayor Pat Branson said: “So, it might be time to take a look and update.”

The Kodiak City Council made the decision to pursue a new seal at this week’s work session.

One option would be to just update the current seal, which was designed by Alaskan artist Diane Widom, as Deputy City Manager Josie Bahnke explains.

“She’s still alive and very active artist. So maybe it could be a revision.”

Councilmember Charlie Davidson prefers a community-wide contest.

“I would like to see it open up to the community, like you did with the poster contest, so it could be open to everybody.”

This April, the city partnered with the Kodiak Arts Council for a poster design contest to encourage healthy habits in response to the COVID-19 shutdown.

The city may follow the process that Sitka recently used when they updated their seal earlier this year.

That could involve designating a Design Review Committee, who would hold a design contest and determine the finalists. Sitka’s process took about six months, and the estimated cost for changing their seal on official items such letterheads and vehicles is $7500 over five years.

Kodiak city officials plan to begin their search for a new seal later this fall.