Much of Tuesday’s Haines Borough Assembly meeting will focus on harbors and heliskiing.
As we reported previously, there are three challenges related to the heliski map committee. One is a proposal from Assemblyman Tom Morphet to get rid of the advisory committee in code. That would leave review of the heliski map requests to the assembly in the future.
There are also two citizen appeals over heliski map-related decisions. Dana Hallett is appealing the committee’s actions at a recent meeting, and Eric Holle is appealing recommendations from the Tourism Advisory Board regarding the map committee. Both cite conflict of interest violations.
There is also an appeal on a different topic: the small boat harbor expansion. Resident Paul Nelson challenged the borough manager’s decision to grant a land use permit for the project. He brought his case to the planning commission, which denied it. Nelson is now appealing to the assembly. On Tuesday, the assembly will decide whether to reconsider the commission’s decision. But a rehearing wouldn’t take place until the next meeting on Dec. 13.
There are a few other harbor-related items on the agenda. The assembly will review a cooperative agreement for $500,000 with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to fund design and permitting for a boat launch ramp. It would be funded by federal and state money funneled through Fish and Game.
Borough administrators are asking the assembly to reconsider a portion of the harbor expansion they previously cut from the phase one contract. The assembly decided not to include add alternate C to save about $400,000. Add alt C includes more dredging and an additional 33 feet on the wave barrier.
The borough already signed a construction deal with Pacific Pile & Marine, so if the assembly were to change its mind on add alt C, it would be included as a change order. The Port and Harbor Advisory Committee wants the assembly reconsider, because the additional work would allow for better moorage capacity and space to maneuver in the harbor. There are also letters supporting add alt C from residents George Campbell and Evelyna Vignola.
Improvements to Lutak Dock are also on the agenda. The assembly will decide whether to apply for a federal grant that would fund pre-planning and geotechnical analysis. Right now, the borough is contracting with R&M Engineering on conceptual design work.
The meeting isn’t entirely about harbors and heliskiing. The assembly will also weigh whether to award about $63,000 in borough grants to nine local non-profits. A non-profit scoring committee recommended fully funding each request.
The meeting is set for Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. in assembly chambers.