The Skagway Assembly will gather for a regular meeting Tuesday, with one major item on the agenda: a memorandum of understanding with White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad.
This is the third time this month the assembly will meet as a whole to discuss the draft document. It would make way for important port improvements and a new, 15-year, tidelands lease with the railroad.
A retreat and special assembly meeting were held earlier this month to review the MOU, changes suggested by the borough attorney, and assembly recommendations.
A couple weeks ago, the assembly made some significant changes to the draft agreement.
At that meeting, assemblyman Orion Hanson suggested amending the MOU to make White Pass responsible for the full cost of a floating dock. That’s a port improvement needed to accommodate larger cruise ships in coming years.
“I’m looking for a solution to where we’re pushing forth the issue,” said Hanson. “Also this greatly speeds up the ability to get this dock done. Because White Pass can build this cheaper than we can. And they can probably get it permitted if not faster, than at least as fast without the red tape that we incur as a city.”
The group voted in favor of that change. It also accepted several amendments recommended by the borough’s attorney that would incentivize cleanup and remediation of the ore basin.
One of those edits says a new lease will not happen if cleanup isn’t finished by the end of the current agreement, in 2023.
The assembly sent the draft with these and other changes back to the attorney to review. If the assembly approves the MOU, the document would still need to be approved by White Pass, too.
It comes back to the group at the meeting Tuesday, at 7 p.m., in assembly chambers.