By Greta Mart/KHNS
The Haines Borough Assembly opted Tuesday to postpone approving a hike in harbor fees. That’s because some assembly members wanted more information about how much revenue the increased fees would bring into the borough.
The assembly also upheld a nuisance abatement order for unlawful trash accumulation at the Eagle Nest Trailer Park – but they decided the problem was now fixed. The order was directed at the park’s owners, who appealed the decision.
At the last assembly meeting, members postponed a decision on the nuisance order to give the mobile home owners more time. At Tuesday’s meeting, assembly members felt the trash had been cleaned up enough. But they were still required to take official action on the matter.
“It has been cleaned up. It’s not perfect but its been cleaned up. I think the question before us is when there has been a notice of abatement and it wasn’t followed and some sort of fine was assessed, do we allow a second notice of abatement?” said Mike Case.
Case made a motion to reject the original abatement order, issued by Borough Manager Dave Sosa. Assembly member Diana Lapham disagreed.
“We’re talking about code here, and we’re talking about upholding code. And at the time that the manager made his recommendation, this was in violation of code,” Lapham said.
The final vote carried four to one to uphold the order, with George Campbell opposed. However, all of the members agreed that the property owners should not be required to pay a fine.
The confusion over process in abatement orders connected to the assembly’s conversation about a proposed minor offenses ordinance. The ordinance compiles minor infractions already existing in borough code and streamlines the enforcement and appeals process for them.
But the 14-page list of offenses and fees has alarmed some residents and officials. Because of that, the assembly’s Government Affairs and Services Committee recently voted to comb through the offenses list to cut out unnecessary regulations.
But some assembly members pointed out that if the ordinance was adopted, the Eagle’s Nest nuisance appeal wouldn’t have come before the assembly. It would’ve gone to the municipal court.
The discussion around the ordinance resulted in a decision by the assembly to postpone an August 4th GAS committee meeting to sort through the minor offenses ordinance. Another date for the meeting has not been set.
Tuesday’s assembly meeting was plagued with technical issues that slowed down proceedings. Assemblyman Campbell joined the meeting by speaker phone and he was frequently unable to hear the discussion. Case requested the borough purchase new speaker phone equipment at the end of the meeting and Borough Clerk Julie Cozzi assured him that she had already placed the order.
KHNS’s Emily Files contributed to this report.