Owner Roger Beasley is asking $450,000 for three of his five acres at Picture Point, land that would include two scenic pullouts and a strip of land connecting them to Front Street.
The asking price became public during a presentation by borough staffer Debra Schnabel on development of the parcel as a "gateway" in conjunction with the Haines Highway’s National Scenic Byway status during Tuesday’s assembly meeting.
The byway plan calls for developing a gateway pull-off, including information that provides meaning and promotes curiosity.
Schnabel said Picture Point would including park-like improvements and information about town. As such, it would work better than alternative gateway sites at the ferry terminal or Tanani Point, as many motorists tend to stop at Picture Point already, and the site is within view of town, she said.
The borough is seeking federal funds through the scenic highway program for the purchase, and might be able to use state funds as a match, manager Mark Earnest told the assembly. "There are ways to do this that would potentially not require very much borough money," he said. "This project is right down their alley. It meets so many of their criteria."
Resident Jerry Erny called the project, "Picture Pork," but Earnest said the scenic roads weren’t earmarks and would be funded. "If we take a stand that we’re not going to accept federal funding, the money’s going to go somewhere else."
Erny said money would be better spent on decaying town infrastructure. "This gateway to Haines sounds real nice… People coming down the road are going to see this beautiful point, then they come to town and what about the infrastructure that already exists? It looks despicable."