Petersburg’s assembly is taking public testimony on the sale of Borough-owned tidelands at their regular meeting at 6 p.m. They’ll also resume negotiations with Petersburg’s Tribe concerning the sale of a different plot of public land.

The assembly is scheduled to take comment on the sale of borough owned tidelands at the start of tonight’s meeting. John and Sheri Wikan filed an application to purchase a lot at 103A Dock Street that they currently lease for Wikan Enterprises, Incorporated. 

The Borough Code says they need to prove that the sale benefits the public in a way that couldn’t be realized through leasing the land. Petersburg’s Planning Commission recommends the assembly approve the sale, though the Harbor Advisory Board recommends they go forward with some restrictions. 

At tonight’s meeting, the assembly will vote on whether the application will go any further in the process. If it does, they’ll exempt the application from public auction and authorize Borough Manager Steve Giesbrecht to start negotiations for the sale. 

The assembly will also pick up where they left off for the sale of another parcel of Borough land. PIA is looking to purchase a small $52,000 lot in the area surrounding the building where they’re headquartered. 

Mayor Mark Jensen and Assembly Members Bob Lynn and Scott Newman were all absent from the last meeting. The remaining four members approved PIA’s application to buy the land. But they couldn’t decide how they wanted to sell it. 

At tonight’s meeting, they’ll decide whether they’ll sell the land in either a public auction, or through direct negotiations. PIA has expressed their preference for a direct sale.

In other business, Assembly Member and Housing Task Force Chair Dave Kensinger is requesting an Assembly work session to go over the early results of the Borough’s Housing Needs Assessment. Petersburg’s housing task force held a public meeting about that survey last week — the results of which show that more than 300 houses need to be built or renovated in the next decade.

KFSK will broadcast tonight’s assembly meeting live and post the recording in our Borough Assembly Archive. Anyone can join the meeting in person, by phone, or on Zoom. There’s more information on KFSK’s community calendar.