Heidi Zemach for SCN
The Seward City Council held a public hearing on proposed changes to the city code regarding regulations governing door-to-door commercial solicitation on residential property at its March 11 regular meeting. These changes were proposed in response to the statewide issue of rude, obnoxious and untrustworthy salespeople knocking on the door and ripping people off. No one commented. Those changes are meant to protect residents from unwanted solicitation, while also protecting the state-protected rights of peddlers to offer their services door to door.
The code changes now allow salespeople to knock on the door and try to sell you something between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., but no earlier or later in the day, and not where a building has put up “no solicitation,” “no trespassing,” or “no peddling” signs. The code does not allow salespeople to continue to solicit after you have expressed the desire not to be solicited or told them to leave. They cannot intentionally block your free movement or that of your vehicle either. The code change also allows residents to discontinue work agreements they have made with those salespeople valued at more than $10 within five days of the contract or sale. The changes do not apply to fundraising activities of less than two weeks duration sponsored by charitable, religious, civic, educational or other nonprofit organizations.
Council also passed resolution accepting $620,656 from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council to construct a vessel wash-down pad and wastewater recycling facility at the Seward Marine Industrial Center. After the design and engineering plans were developed, the city learned that there was not enough money available in the grant to provide heating to the pad for use for our cold winters. We would need to purchase costly boilers or find another source of heat, said Harbormaster Mack Funk. The city hopes to put heat rings inside the pad for heating in the event it can be done at a later date. Without heat, the wash down facility at SMIC cannot be used year-round. PND Engineers Inc. also warned that the facility “will have limited washing capabilities on rainy days.” But Funk said that means it may not be used when there is a significant downpour.
Another resolution the council passed unanimously related to SMIC improvements changes and increases the scope of work in a contract with R&M Consultants Inc. for marine coastal engineering services at SMIC, to include geotechnical services and permitting. The cost is an additional $505,503. The money is part of the $10 million statewide Transportation Bond Package approved by Alaska voters Nov 6, 2012.
Another resolution passed allowed the city manager to waive the normal bid procurement procedures and enter into a purchase agreement with R & M Steel Co. of Caldwell, Idaho to purchase and ship a steel building kit for up to $196,232. City administrators will put the project of putting the kit together to competitive bid, however. R&M’s quotation of $159,029 was the lowest quote that electric department personnel had been able to secure for the new steel warehouse/electrical office facility that will be located at the Fort Raymond Generator station.. Premier Building Systems’ quote was $284,000; ASRC Builders (Butler) was $284,000; Arctic Fox Steel Buildings’ was $257,000 and Armstrong Steel Buildings gave no quote. The additional amount listed in the purchase agreement is for a certain type of walls, eaves and foundation. The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) awarded the city a $4 million grant to update and upgrade the generation plant, which is used as a backup in the event of power outages occurring on the regular system. The grant will purchase two generators to replace the old ones. The building, used for electric department storage and some minimal offices, was included in the project total.
Council also approved the appointments of Alexis Campestre to the Planning and Zoning Commission, and Frank DeMarco to the Historic Preservation Commission.
Providence Seward Medical and Care Center Administrator Joe Fong accepted an award on behalf of the American Red Cross Month. Fong sits on the local Red Cross board in addition to administering the hospital and long-term care facility, and overseeing 140 staff and medical providers. Although Red Cross doesn’t participate in blood drives here, disaster relief is a big thing for Alaska, he said, and the organization provides a great deal of that, both for large and for small disasters such as house fires.
Fong also presented the 2012 Annual Operational Report for Providence Seward Medical & Care Center. That will be in a future report on SCN.