Skagway borough officials are hosting a town hall meeting Friday evening to discuss the pending tidelands lease with White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad. The meeting is the first of two informational sessions scheduled prior to a special election on August 25th.
Last week, the Skagway Borough Assembly approved an ordinance authorizing the municipality to lease tidelands property to White Pass through 2050. But it is the voters who will decide in the August special election whether or not to allow the municipality to go forward with the multi-million dollar lease.
From 6 to 8 p.m. in Skagway assembly chambers, White Pass and Borough officials will be on hand to answer questions about the 35-year lease. The agreement is expected to bring in about $11 million to borough coffers.
The lease will give the municipality access to expand the town’s port, as part of the Gateway Project. Right now, the city doesn’t have access to the entire port because the railroad leases and controls much of the tidelands.
At the July 6th Skagway Borough Assembly meeting, Assembly members Gary Hanson and Spencer Morgan voted against the lease ordinance. Four voted in favor.
In addition to Friday’s town hall meeting, another informational session is tentatively scheduled for August 11th.