Ketchikan to look at port community consortium

    Ketchikan, Alaska (KINY) - Ketchikan City Councilman Sam Bergeron wants Ketchikan and other port communities to form a consortium to establish criteria to resume cruise operations in 2021.

    The City Council Thursday night agreed to consider a consortium and contact Hoonah, Skagway, Juneau and other communities to gauge their interest.

    Bergeron said he thinks elected officials need to have some say when deciding what protocols or standards must be met for cruise ships to return.

    "We should have a discussion on how many people can be here at one time.  We need to come up with some criteria rather than wait for the industry to dictate to us.  I want to get the port up and running.  Our economy needs it in the worst way."

    Bergeron said he supports reliable tests like molecular tests for all cruise ship visitors.

    Skagway is interested in joining this consortium.

    Mayor Andrew Cremata said he has been talking with representatives from Juneau, Ketchikan, and other ports for the past six weeks.

    "We discussed how do we as southeast Alaska create a consolidated group that will hold the cruise ship companies to standards that are necessary in very diverse communities," he added.

    Assembly Member Orian Hanson said he thinks having several communities together will give them more leverage with the cruise industry, "It has to be consistent standards.  If can't just be Skagway, Ketchikan, Juneau, or Hoonah.  As port communities, we have a right to know that these passengers are going through health safety protocols.  When they come off the ship we should have assurances that these people are not sick."

     

     

     

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