Borough reaches agreement over veneer plant

Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2003

KETCHIKAN - An out-of-court settlement agreement was reached in a lawsuit the Ketchikan Gateway Borough filed against Gateway Forest Products and the Ketchikan Pulp Company.

The Borough Assembly approved the settlement 6-0 Monday night. Under the agreement, the borough will take control of the pulp company's Connell Lake dam and pipeline to Ward Cove. The annual maintenance cost of the dam and pipeline is estimated at between $50,000 and $100,000, said Assistant Borough Manager Steve Corporon.

The pulp company agreed to remove asbestos from several buildings on the former pulp mill site, including the former powerhouse. The cost of removing the asbestos is estimated at about $2 million, said borough attorney Scott Brandt-Erichsen. He said once the asbestos is removed from the powerhouse, it will be the borough's responsibility to demolish the structure.

The pulp company also agreed to lift environmental encumbrances on borough property in Ward Cove, according to the settlement.

The environmental encumbrances, which were the result of the pulp mill's sale of its Ward Cove assets to Gateway, has limited the boroughs ability to redevelop the cove, said Brandt-Erichsen.

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