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Pelican to acquire utility, other assets, from Kake Tribal

Posted: October 5, 2011 - 11:09pm

Kake Tribal Corp. has agreed to sell its Pelican utility and other assets in the city to the city government.

Pelican, population 88, is located 70 miles west of Juneau on Chichagof Island.

Wednesday was a filing deadline set by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska in connection with the city of Pelican’s request to take authority for running the Pelican Utility District away from the troubled Kake Tribal. Pelican wanted that authority for itself, claiming Kake Tribal was not competent to run the utility.

Instead, Kake Tribal and Pelican officials informed RCA they’d reached an agreement to “settle their dispute by Kake selling all or substantially all of its assets in Pelican to the City of Pelican, including the utility known as the Pelican Utility District.”

After receiving the request, filed jointly by both entities, RCA agreed to delay its proceedings to allow the agreement to go forward.

Also in Pelican, Kake Tribal owns Pelican Seafoods, once Pelican Utility’s largest customer. It has not operated for several years, and is under foreclosure proceedings from the city of Pelican for unpaid taxes under a similar timeline as the utility dispute.

Pelican Mayor Clint Bean did not return phone calls Tuesday or Wednesday, but previously told the Empire the city was trying to resolve all the disputes together.

Kake Tribal Corp. is the Native village corporation for the Kupreanof Island community of Kake. The corporation has struggled financially in recent years, but this summer reopened its Kake Seafoods plant with the assistance of Sealaska Corp.

Kake CEO Vicki Wolfe did not respond to an interview request or emailed questions by press time Wednesday.

Among the actions necessary for the agreement to be finalized is for RCA to approve the transfer of Kake’s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Pelican.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or at patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.

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