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

Harbor expansion facts misconstrued


Some facts about harbor improvements that have endured twisted mythologizing:

1. Only one true local, official vote has occurred; local citizens overwhelmingly elected two assembly members who clearly stated doubts about the harbor improvement plan and process (both repeatedly supporting harbor improvement).

2. The often-cited 72 percent local vote for general obligation bonds in 2012 is also a relevant fact, provided the citers responsibly note that the burden of said bonds is carried by the State of Alaska.

3. Yes, an informal petition of 312 signatures (17 percent self-identifying as from outside of Haines Borough) supporting Concept 14 was submitted for the borough’s records in September 2015; said petition offered no alternative, thereby precluding any other choice and setting the stage for inevitable community division.

4. PND Engineers, Haines Borough’s consultants for harbor improvement, produced for Anchorage a “...failed port expansion project” (as reported in Oct. 30 Alaska Journal of Commerce) - PND is currently embroiled in a multi-million-dollar lawsuit brought by Anchorage. According to AJC reporter Elwood Brehmer, “...the expansion project was fraught with control and communication issues nearly from its outset.” So far, Haines Borough has presented no proactive plan for averting a repeat performance mirroring Anchorage.

Bill McCord


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