Skagway, Alaska (KINY) The future of the Port, housing needs, and other matters were discussed by the Skagway Borough Assembly at their regular meeting last week.
The Assembly is expected to discuss buying back the tidelands from the state in the new year. The Mat Su borough purchased over 500 acres of
tidelands from the state last year perhaps setting a precedent.
The community will hold a town hall to discuss the opioid problem at the tribal council building on January 8th from 6 to 8 pm.
They also sent a letter to the Governor to support the use of non alcoholic mixers at the Skagway Spirits distillery.
Assembly members also discussed the need for more housing and expansion of water and sewer lines. a new solid waste facility,
campground or RV park could be developed.
Hanasack Park was sold and will be used for employee housing this summer.
An additional 15 seasonal trailer spaces could be added at Garden City this summer. Development of a new campground for season
employees could be discussed in early 2018.
Mayor Monica Carlson said she supported looking at housing needs, "The city has reached a critical point for year round and seasonal housing. We must stop talking and we really need to act."
The Assembly also discussed an odor control program for the Waste Water Treatment plant that would cost $650,000.
The Assembly scheduled a special meeting on January 3rd at 7 pm to discuss issues over White Pass and a way to make port improvements. The White Pass railroad company wants 20 more years on their lease.
Assemblyman Orian Hanson says the long negotiations have resulted in a memorandum of understanding that is supported by both sides. "I think we have come to a document that the negotiation team, (including our attorney and White Pass), have something to present that is acceptable. At least to pass it on to the voters. I think we found common ground in a lot of concerns. There has been a lot of give and take."
Resident Wayne Selmer says there have been rock slides in White Pass this month. he says this could impact the cruise industry, "We have 130 days from tonight to get that taken care of before the first cruise ship arrives. I have not heard an update from your engineer. 130 days will go by pretty quick."
The Assembly put off a second reading of an ordinance with Harbors and Ports to Address Regulations for the Port of Skagway and the Port
Enterprise Fund until July.
They also approved the first reading of an ordinance to lease waterfront property to Petro Marine Services.