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Assembly seeks input on possible bid for Papke's land


The Borough Assembly will be taking public comment on whether or not the Borough should bid on three land parcels near Papke’s Landing that will go up for public auction next month by the Alaska Mental Health Trust.

The Assembly wrote a letter to Mental Health in August asking them to suspend the sale of three lots at Papke’s Landing because of their importance for public access to the dock and parking area and the possible future expansion of Petersburg’s harbors.

At Monday’s regular meeting, the assembly discussed future steps on the matter after receiving news that Mental Health will not suspend the sale of those lots. The three lots, along with four others in the Papke’s area, will instead be sold through their annual land sale program.

Though Borough staff have not received the exact opening and closing dates of the auction, the sale begins next month and ends sometime in March.

The Borough Assembly previously began the application process for a direct sale of the land in June 2013, but because of some unknowns regarding facilities owned by other state agencies near the property, including the Alaska Department of Transportation (ADOT) which owns the Papke’s dock and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) which owns the ramp, the purchase stalled.

Despite not having sorted out some of those complications, Assembly members Jeigh Stanton Gregor and Bob Lynn expressed a desire to bid on the lots because of their public importance.

“I think it is in the Borough’s best and long-term interest to secure lots 5, 6 and 7...the ones directly adjacent to that parking lot (at Papke’s Landing). I think those three, despite the many hangups in terms of multiple ownerships at that facility itself right now, would be a huge asset to our long-term vision for Petersburg Borough harbors,” Stanton Gregor said.

Lynn echoed Stanton Gregor’s concern and emphasized that more parking would be needed near the dock at Papke’s if there was any development of the area in the future.

Mayor Mark Jensen said he wanted to provide an opportunity for public input before a resolution was drafted for the Borough to put a bid in for the parcels. The Assembly will take public comment on the issue at its December meetings, which were moved to Dec. 8 and 22.


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