Hearing set for solid waste proposal

The Haines Borough Assembly introduced a taxpayer-funded solid waste management program ordinance along with a ballot measure that would increase borough sales tax by 1 percent to pay for the operation, maintenance and enforcement of the program that is estimated to cost between $350,000 to $450,000.

The revenue would, in part, pay for the “transfer and disposal of separated solid waste…that encourages waste reuse, reduction, recycling and composting with a minimal fee schedule and provides citizens the choice to contract with a certified refuse service provider for collection or to self-haul their waste.”

A public hearing is set for Aug. 7. The government affairs and services committee will discuss the topic on July 31 at 6:30 p.m. in the assembly chambers.

Assembly approves MOU for HEDC

The Haines Borough Assembly renewed its memorandum of understanding with the Haines Economic Development Corporation with an amendment that allows the board to conduct committee meetings without public notice, although technically the meetings would still be open to the public. The assembly gave the organization $95,000 last year and again this year.

Assembly member Tom Morphet made a motion to designate an assembly member to be an ex-officio member on the HEDC board. The vote failed 5-1 with Morphet as the sole supporter. The borough Mayor and planner currently serve as ex-officio members.

HEDC executive director Margaret Friedenauer said discussions at meetings where the public is absent will be addressed at noticed board meetings. “We have an expressive board who would like to brainstorm casually and sometimes they just need to get the idea out on the table,” Friedenauer said.

The Skagway Development Corporation and the Skagway Borough Assembly are currently at odds about whether the corporation’s meetings should be public, according to a KHNS news report.

The Petersburg Economic Development Corporation notices and holds all of its meetings in public and its borough manager sits on the board, according to Borough Manager Steve Giesbrecht.

According to its bylaws, the Wrangell Economic Development subcommittees can meet on their own time without public notice. The board is a borough advisory committee to the borough assembly.

Slow pink run stalls Excursion cannery

Ocean Beauty’s Excursion Inlet cannery has reduced its workforce and canning operations earlier than expected.

John Hanrahan, Ocean Beauty Seafoods COO, told the CVN this week that the cannery this month went from a 24-hour operation to a one-shift-per-day operation due to the poor pink and chum runs.

“Whether we can or not, that’s dependent on what the pink run is,” Hanrahan said. “Hopefully it will pick up. There just was not enough volume to justify a 24-hour operation. The volume was two-thirds of our expectations.”

He said the decrease in shift time and halt to canning operations is about four to five days earlier than anticipated.

Borough manager Debra Schnabel told the assembly that 57 percent of Ocean Beauty’s crew returned home and that there would be “no more canning at Excursion Inlet” during Tuesday’s meeting.

The cannery is still processing frozen sockeye fillets, Hanrahan said.