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

Weather closes borough offices


Slushy roads and driving rain Tuesday caused Haines to do something rare: roll up the slippery sidewalks, close borough offices, cancel all meetings and send everybody home.

Borough manager Bill Seward sent an email to borough staff announcing that the borough offices would close at 1:30 p.m.

“I ask all non-essential personnel to avoid traveling our roadways so that operators of snow removal equipment and emergency crews can clear the roads and keep our citizens safe,” he wrote.

He added that administrative leave is authorized for non-essential borough personnel for the remainder of the day while essential workers such as police and EMT workers were instructed to claim 3.5 hours of comp time.

Seward said the precautions were taken after a National Weather Service advisory predicted 12 to 18 inches of snow for the area.

Borough clerk Julie Cozzi said she can’t remember the last time the borough offices closed due to weather, but that it had to be at least a few years.

“It tells you a lot when the schools close. They don’t do that lightly,” she said.

Before making his decision, Seward convened with police chief Heath Scott and Mayor Jan Hill.

“It’s safety first,” Cozzi said.

Issues due to be addressed at a borough assembly meeting for Tuesday night were re-scheduled for the next regular meeting on Dec. 13.

“We decided that there was nothing on the agenda that couldn’t wait,” Cozzi said. “We called people who had appeals and gave them the news. One person who lives at 37 Mile was even grateful.”

She added: “People understand this isn’t something that happens very often.”


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