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Group seeks to incorporate SE community

Posted: September 29, 2013 - 12:08am

KETCHIKAN — Residents have filed a petition to incorporate the Southeast Alaska community of Edna Bay as a second-class city.

The proposed city would include about 23 square miles of land and more than 4 square miles of tidelands and submerged land, KRBD reported. The group behind the effort filed its petition with the Alaska Local Boundary Commission.

Incorporating would help the community with needed infrastructure projects, as well as attract new residents, according to petitioners Lee and Doris Greif. Edna Bay, northwest of Craig, is currently occupied by about 50 people year-round.

A public hearing on the petition is scheduled for Oct. 10 at the Edna Bay school. The commission also is accepting written comments through Nov. 20.

Doris Greif said roads are in need of repairs, but work can be difficult to arrange without a single entity in charge.

“When the state set up lots out here, they didn’t include the road, and so everybody that has a lot owns half the road,” she said.

The community’s dock also is in disrepair, and the state has offered to help if Edna Bay incorporates, she said.

“And then, we don’t have any fuel out here,” Greif said. “We have to go get it in 55-gallon drums. It’s very difficult, especially in the winter, sometimes you can’t go. We’re going to hopefully put in a tank farm for fuel, and make life a little easier out here.”

Greif said most people support the idea of incorporation, but a few locals have objected to expanding.

At the upcoming public hearing, people can ask questions, she said.

“There’s been a lot of rumors going around, and hopefully we’ll get that all out in the open,” she said. “We’re just all excited about it. Most of us.”

The community has many older residents and the school is running low on students, Greif said. Many residents would like to attract more families with children, and Greif hopes that improvements to the community would help bring in more people.

“We’re just a small community. We all get along pretty good,” she said. “We’re just looking for growth.”

The area targeted for incorporation includes state, federal and privately owned property on Kosciusko Island off northwest Prince of Wales Island. Edna Bay’s economy is primarily two sawmills and fishing.

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