Twenty-two years ago, our freight dock was showing signs of failure. Twenty years ago, the dock spilled debris into Lutak Inlet. Twelve years ago, many more sinkholes appeared along the length of the dock face. Just over one year ago, the borough had a plan to address the constant corrosion.

There was opposition to the plan from some residents who argued for a dock that would only serve the people of Haines. The borough listened to them, even though their demands were in direct conflict with the comprehensive plan which states: “Capitalize on Haines’ position as a transportation hub to increase transfer and shipment of cargo, supplies, fuel, ore and other commodities with the Yukon, northern BC and Interior Alaska.” 

The borough’s plan to address corrosion was “put on hold,” as our new mayor said. Yet the corrosion continues.

The current plan to address corrosion is to hire lawyers and project managers. The people of Haines will pay seven times todays’ prices for basic groceries when failure occurs, and the borough assembly and mayor are hiring folks in suits, not engineers or construction workers. There is no plan to address the corrosion – those plans were thrown out. 

We need a corrosion monitoring program to track the dock failures so we can plan our future. 

If there are legal problems because our mayor and assembly chose to “put the approved project on hold,” then that should come from the mayor’s and assembly’s own funds, since they created the legal issue.

Richard Clement