Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

Members sought for port steering group

 

October 6, 2011



Borough manager Mark Earnest has recommended an 18-member Haines Port Development Steering Committee.

"It’s an advisory group," Earnest said. "It’s a mix of government, of private sector and then the staff to support this effort."

The Haines Borough Assembly on Sept. 27 approved seeking letters of interest from those wanting to serve on the new committee. The initial deadline is Monday, and the first appointments would be made at Tuesday’s assembly meeting. More information is available at http://www.hainesborough.us.

The group would include borough administrators Earnest, harbormaster Ed Barrett and public facilities director Brian Lemcke.

Members also would be drawn from the Alaska Marine Highway System, Alaska Marine Lines, Chilkoot Indian Association, Delta Western, Yukon Chamber of Commerce and Yukon Chamber of Mines.

The Mayor, two assembly members, and one planning commissioner also would be on the committee, along with two representatives from businesses "dependent on Lutak Dock" and two representatives from businesses that are "potential dock users."

The objective of the mayor-appointed committee is "to study and create a plan to rehabilitate, redesign and construct a modern and expanded port facility in Haines for the purpose of creating economic stimulus; including jobs, increased taxable revenues and future business opportunities in the Haines Borough," Earnest wrote.

The borough also has prepared a "request for qualifications" from consulting firms, due Friday, Oct. 21, to guide the port development plan. The assembly on Sept. 27 approved seeking the requests.

According to a public notice posted at the borough website, "approximately 60 percent of the work product" for the selected firm "will be allocated to the preparation of a constructible conceptual plan for the short term, including an actionable business plan, for a port development project to be completed within five years."

Earnest said members of the Haines Port Development Steering Committee would review the consulting proposals. The committee is scheduled to meet Friday, Oct. 28.

"We need a paid consultant, moving in concert with a committee-driven plan, including a feasibility analysis of the options," Earnest wrote in August. "Funding for this effort includes the $120,000 (fiscal year 2012) legislative appropriation and $30,000 borough assembly appropriation."

Assemblyman Steve Vick said the effort to promote Lutak Dock is "a big undertaking that the whole community’s going to take."

"I know when I first got elected four years ago, this was something we talked about and never got traction on and didn’t really know what to do with it," Vick said. "Now that I see how this is developing - that you actually need a plan to make the plan - it’s a very in-depth thing."