Skagway leaders want to re-engage with White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad to discuss a tidelands lease agreement. The borough assembly came to that consensus after talking for more than an hour behind closed doors at a special meeting Wednesday.
It’s been about nine months since Skagway voters rejected a tidelands lease extension between the municipality and White Pass. In the time since then, the assembly met privately with railroad officials, exchanged letters, and held work sessions about the future of the port. There has been a lot of talk, but not a lot of progress.
Time and again, officials have expressed urgency about the tight timeline Skagway has to spend millions of dollars in state grant funding for the port, and build a floating dock to accommodate larger cruise ships.
The lease extension that was shut down by voters would have given the municipality access to tidelands currently leased by White Pass. Without access, port improvements stalled.
After the executive session on Wednesday, the assembly unanimously voted to have a resolution come forward at the next regular meeting. The resolution would indicate that the assembly wants to re-engage in lease discussions with White Pass.
The port commission will review the proposed resolution on Friday. The next assembly meeting is July 21.