Local government news from the KUCB Newsroom.

Jennifer Martin via Wikimedia Commons

Unalaskans can overturn the city's ban on commercial pot businesses — if enough of them vote for a new referendum in October.

The referendum earned a spot on the city ballot last week after a petition by local marijuana supporters gathered more than double the signatures required.

Supporters started the petition in February after the City Council narrowly passed a ban on all types of state-licensed marijuana businesses.

Cannabis Training University via Wikimedia Commons

Marijuana supporters in Unalaska have submitted a petition to repeal an ordinance banning state-licensed pot businesses.

The proposal calls for a referendum on city ordinance 2016-03, which prohibits all types of marijuana businesses, including the cultivation, manufacturing, and retail sale of pot.

The petition does not specify any new regulations for a local marijuana industry. Determining those would still be up to the City of Unalaska.

Laura Kraegel

The Unalaska Methodist Church has negotiated a new lease with the city to keep Tutiakoff Park open to the public. The Methodists own most of the park's land, and last month they raised the city's rent on the property from $6,000 per year to $20,500.

That hike will happen gradually over the five-year lease, according to the church's lay minister, Matt Reinders. He said the city agreed to pay $16,500 this year and then increase payments by a $1,000 each year until the rent peaks at $20,500.

Laura Kraegel

The City of Unalaska is looking to welcome larger vessels — and ensure smoother passage for ships already cruising through. At a meeting Tuesday night, the City Council approved an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to dredge the entrance channel of Unalaska Bay.

Mayor Shirley Marquardt said that'll stop the recurring problem of ships scraping against a sandbar or being blocked entirely. In the past, she said two distressed vessels have been unable to dock because of the bar.


  Unalaska’s City Council wants to look into expanding tax breaks to encourage renovations that create new housing. The issue was brought up at last night’s city council meeting.

Currently, the city only provides a sales tax exemption to newly constructed residential housing and that does not apply to renovated, former commercial or industrial buildings.