City officials consider requirements at shipyard

Posted: Sunday, June 11, 2000

SEWARD (AP) -- City officials want to crack down on repairs being made to large vessels at the Seward shipyard.

Vessels from Cordova to Kodiak are drawn to the shipyard for repairs, in part because of a lack of regulations at the Seward Marine Industrial Center and a boat lift that can shoulder 5,000-ton boats.

City officials are concerned that many of the companies doing repair work are fly-by-night operations that leave environmental and health risks, such as rusting piles of scrap metal and hazardous waste.

''There's no requirements, no control or access, there's nothing but dangerous activity,'' said city manager Scott Janke.

The city council is considering limiting repairs and requiring insurance and cleanup. Companies that don't have a contract with the city could not replace more than 25 percent of a hull.

Dan Lowry, who for six years has operated a repair business at the boatyard, said the policy will drive away business.

''It's unrealistic to set a standard amount of plate to replace. If they need more than 25 percent replaced, what do you do, fix 25 percent and put it back in the water?''

Fearing a lawsuit, the city also wants protections like $5 million in insurance.

A public hearing is scheduled for Monday night.

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