When the Sitka Assembly meets tonight (2-8-22), it will consider adopting the city’s plan to absorb this summer’s anticipated tourism boom.
An estimated 480,000 cruise passengers are set to travel to Sitka, following the expansion of the privately owned Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal. Anticipating a strain on city resources, the Assembly directed the Planning Commission to develop a short-term plan for receiving the influx of travelers.
At its last regular meeting, the Assembly approved the budget for that plan, and tonight it will consider that budget on second reading along with the planning document itself. But there’s still the question of whether to fully close Lincoln Street or make it one-way. The plan recommends a full closure, and if the Assembly approves the plan as-is, it would likely approve a separate budget for a Lincoln Street closure at a future meeting.
In other business, the Assembly will take another look at the city’s rules for All Terrain Vehicles on public roads. Last month, a law change made ATVs legal on many public roads throughout the state. But not in Sitka – the Assembly elected to opt out shortly before the New Year. But now it’s going to consider local rules that would allow ATV use on roads in Sitka with some restrictions. Assembly Members Thor Christianson and Dave Miller drafted the new “All Purpose Vehicle” code, and with some amendments, the city Police and Fire Commission gave the ordinance a unanimous thumbs up when it met last month.
The Sitka Assembly meets at 6 p.m. tonight at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Raven News will broadcast the meeting live, following Alaska News Nightly.