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

Borough briefs


Assistant eyed for manager

The Haines Borough will look into the possibility of hiring an executive assistant to the manager rather than an economic and community development director.

The topic was discussed at a meeting of the assembly’s personnel committee Monday. Manager David Sosa said he was looking into the benefits of such a change and would report back to the committee, chair Joanne Waterman said this week.

Such a change would bring the job full circle. The position started as a consultant under Darsie Culbeck in the fall of 2011. Culbeck worked as executive assistant under Mark Earnest from 2012-2014.

The assembly later agreed to a proposal by Culbeck to hire an economic and community development director.


Walsh gets department OK

It appears Jenn Walsh will be the Haines Borough’s new firefighter and training officer, replacing Al Badgley.

Scott Bradford, chief of the Haines Volunteeer Fire Department, said that of four applicants for the job, Walsh was the only one who met its qualifications. The fire department has recommended that Walsh get an interview for the job with manager David Sosa. Walsh previously served as an assistant to Badgley and holds the position on an interim basis.

The job’s pay starts at $20.20 an hour and peaks at $28.20. Bradford said low pay accounts for the relatively few applicants for the position. He said he’d seek to raise the scale for the job when unionized borough workers begin negotiating a new contract in the coming months.

The job was advertised on the borough website and the websites of Workplace Alaska, Alaska Municipal League and the Alaska Department of Public Safety, as well as in the CVN and around town.


Chip-seal work benefits roads

The borough was able to partner with a state chip-sealing project to make small improvements to its roads.

Brian Lemcke, the borough’s interim public facilities director, said the borough was able to pave several hundred feet on the west end of the Beach Road Extension at a cost of less than $5,000. The paved section is on a hill where washboarding of the gravel surface required continual maintenance, he said.

Lemcke said he’s heard from residents of other neighborhoods concerned their roads weren’t improved, but he said the Beach Road Extension was doable because it was attached to a section already being resurfaced by the state.

A one-block section of Soapsuds Alley at its intersection with Beach Road also was surfaced under a “horse trading” arrangement with the state Department of Transportation, Lemcke said. “It didn’t cost us anything.”

The borough is about midway through a phased road improvement plan launched about a decade ago. Roads and streets in Fort Seward, Highlands Estates and Skyline subdivision are next on the schedule, but with state and federal funding tight, there are no immediate plans for paving.

Lemcke said residents of those neighborhoods should consider forming local improvement districts to get the work done. “Otherwise, I can’t see any big road improvement projects in the foreseeable future.”


School roof repair looms

Silver Bow Construction of Juneau will soon begin work to patch sections of the Haines School roof.

Borough facilities director Brian Lemcke said the municipality made a $2,500 change order to the $51,000 project that will pay for addressing problem areas in the roof above the section of the school built in 2007.

Rain leaks into the building above the middle school gym and near the entryway. Lemcke said the roof above the 2007 construction carried a 15-year warrantee, but that’s not worth pursuing as it would reimburse only about $1,000 in materials.

Silver Bow is a licensed installer of the type of roof used in the new construction, he said.

A contractor making improvements to the vocational education building has said they’ll be done Aug. 18.


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