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


Assembly wants more Chilkat Center options


The Haines Borough Assembly this week directed manager Mark Earnest to provide a report outlining options for maintenance and ownership of the Chilkat Center.

“This is a facility that is in need of a solution and has been asking for that solution for a long time,” said assemblyman Steve Vick. “This information is what we’d need in order to come to the decisions that we’d need to make.”

Tuesday’s agenda said the assembly would consider directing Earnest “to investigate ways of transferring ownership of the Chilkat Center to a third party,” but Vick amended that motion. He had requested for the item to be on the agenda.

Member Debra Schnabel said decisions on the Chilkat Center should “come from a groundswell of community development work.”

“If Mr. Vick believes that (amended) motion will in fact facilitate that kind of activity, then I am willing to support this motion,” Schnabel said.

Vick withdrew a portion of the motion that asked for Earnest’s report to include management options for the center. Schnabel noted management currently is tasked to the Chilkat Center Advisory Board and KHNS.

“I think it’s really important for us to recognize what we already have in place, and if it’s not working, then we need to fix that so that it works, as opposed to putting another layer of jurisdiction or authority on top of something that’s not working,” Schnabel said.

Member Joanne Waterman said the report provided by Earnest would help interested parties discuss facts, “instead of rumors and guessing.”

“I think there has been a groundswell of community interest in this subject already, but I think it’s very important to have the information that’s being requested here available at those meetings,” Waterman said.