September 22, 2011 |

Manager suggests creation of port development committee; Several projects also set to go out to bid soon

Haines Borough Manager Mark Earnest has recommended the launch of a Haines Port Development Steering Committee to promote Lutak Dock.

In a recent report for the Haines Borough Assembly, Earnest wrote that the ad hoc committee would "prepare an actionable plan including conceptual port configuration concepts to enable the borough to make sound port investment decisions in advancing the interests of the borough, region and state."

The primary purpose for the group would be "to complete a study for port development to serve the Yukon that includes comparisons with Skagway, Stewart and other ports," Earnest wrote.

He suggested that the Mayor chair the committee, which would include representatives from Alaska Marine Lines, Delta Western, other businesses and the Haines Borough Assembly.

The assembly has not yet approved the formation of the committee. Earnest this month said he’s started working on a request for proposals for a paid consultant to oversee the committee’s progress.

"It would be a consultant who would be a professional and has experience in this kind of effort, who has specific experience in port development, hopefully, in Alaska and Lynn Canal," he said. "The ideal candidate would have all that experience or at least the ability to bring people on who do have that experience."

Earnest said he would update assembly members on the request at their meeting Tuesday, Sept. 27.

He said the borough also is preparing requests for proposals regarding borough land sales, repair of the Chilkat Center roof, an Excursion Inlet hydro reconnaissance study, and collection of junk and impounded vehicles.

"These are all underway, but each one takes a considerable amount of effort, staff time and that sort of thing, but we’re working hard on these things," Earnest said.

Earnest and Mayor Jan Hill were scheduled to travel to Whitehorse this week to meet with Yukon officials.

"One of the priorities will include discussion of opportunities for the proposed Lutak Port development," Earnest wrote.