Commercial fishing boats sit anchored near the mouth of the Kenai River on Friday, July 28, 2017 in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion, file)

Commercial fishing boats sit anchored near the mouth of the Kenai River on Friday, July 28, 2017 in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion, file)

Kenai asks the state to declare this year’s upper Cook Inlet fishery an economic disaster

Wednesday night, the Kenai City Council unanimously voted to request that Gov. Bill Walker declare an economic disaster for the upper Cook Inlet fisheries region and support a recovery plan.

Clam Gulch resident David Martin spoke in support of the resolution. He’s the president of the United Cook Inlet Drift Association.

“I appreciate the city council bringing this resolution forward and I hope it’s unanimously supported,” Martin said. “I’ve fished here 47 years and this is probably the worst season I’ve seen. We need a little economic help from the state to carry the people through.”

Council member Bob Molloy, who co-sponsored the resolution, said a potential recovery plan could take many forms.

“The state could commit resources to assist permit holders who participate in the Commercial Fishing Revolving Loan Program to avoid default, and who may be unable to meet payment terms who may not be able to pay because of the poor season,” Molloy said.

Vice Mayor Tim Navarre noted that offering relief to the fishing families here will encourage them to stay here and continue their work.

“If they are given some leeway they will stay in the fishery and work,” Navarre said. “That’s really what it’s all about. This isn’t a welfare program. There’s some real relief here and opportunity for people to benefit from it and continue with their livelihood.”

Mayor Brian Gabriel excused himself from the vote, at the advice of city attorney Scott Bloom, who said it could be a potential conflict of interest since Gabriel is a commercial set-netter and could potentially benefit from the passing of the resolution.

A copy of the adopted resolution will be sent to Gov. Walker, Sen. Peter Micciche, Rep. Gary Knopp and Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce.

More in News

Kelly Tshibaka addresses members of the community at Nikiski Hardware & Supply on Friday, April 9, 2021 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Tshibaka makes rounds on the peninsula

The former DOA head is challenging Sen. Lisa Murkowski for her Senate seat.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announces a tourism aid initiative during a press conference on Friday, April 9, 2021, at Wings Airways Hangar in Juneau, Alaska. Dunleavy was joined by officials and business owners, including Alaska Sen. Peter Micciche (left). (Governer’s Office/Kevin Goodman)
Dunleavy announces tourism aid initiative

Dunleavy said 1.3 million tourists were expected to come to Alaska via cruise ship before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down operations.

Sockeye salmon. (Photo via Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
Sockeye runs on Kenai and Kasilof predicted to be less than 20-year average

The sockeye fishery opens the third Monday in June or June 19, whichever comes last.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Kenai Peninsula cases continue rise

State reports more than 1,200 new COVID cases this week

Dr. Cheryl Siemers, the new director of Kenai Peninsula College, is seen in this undated photo. She begins her term on Monday, June 21, 2021. (Courtesy photo)
Cheryl Siemers to lead Kenai Peninsula College

Gary Turner is the current KPC director, and will be stepping down in June.

U.S. Rep. Don Young addresses a joint chamber luncheon at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center on Friday, April 9, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Don Young presented with bipartisanship award

Young is the longest-serving Republican in Congressional history, having represented Alaska for almost 50 years.

A screenshot of the Kenai Peninsula Borough GIS Parcel Viewer shows the different layers available, including aerial imagery. (Screenshot)
Borough, cities to get millions more in COVID relief money

Roughly $1.36 billion in federal funding is expected to flow into Alaska.

The Kenai City Council meets on Wednesday, Feb. 18 in Kenai, Alaska. (Screenshot)
Kenai approves projects manager position

The manager will be responsible for capital projects “from inception to completion.”

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai approves grace period utility payment plan

Doing nothing would have made delinquent accounts due with penalty and interest on past due amounts.

Most Read