The Haines Borough Assembly will gather for a special meeting next week to decide whether to hold an advisory vote on the small boat harbor expansion.
By code, three assembly members can set a special meeting. On Friday, assembly members Tom Morphet, Heather Lende and Ron Jackson called the meeting for Tuesday, Nov. 1.
Morphet and Lende were just elected to the assembly. At his first meeting Oct. 25, Morphet brought forward a resolution to hold a special advisory vote gauging public opinion on the harbor project.
For the past couple years, some residents have publicly criticized the harbor project design and the public process it went through.
Morphet says a public vote is warranted because of the scale of the project, which is expected to cost more than $30 million. The borough has obtained about $19 million in state funding, but financing for the rest of the project has not been secured.
At the recent assembly meeting, Morphet tried to get the group to vote on his proposal as soon as possible. But other members said they should vote at the next regular meeting on Nov. 8, to give time for public notice.
But Morphet, Lende and Jackson decided to call a special meeting because of the less-than-ideal timeline they’re working with.
If the assembly chooses to hold an advisory vote, the earliest it could happen is in 45 days, in mid-December. The timing may run up against the borough’s deadline to choose a contractor for construction of the first phase of the project. The borough opened bids for phase one on Tuesday. Those bids will remain active for 60 days, until about Dec. 25.
The special meeting is set for Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. in assembly chambers.