Skagway ore dock. (Courtesy AIEDA)

Skagway ore dock. (Courtesy AIEDA)

The owner of the Skagway’s ore terminal is speaking out against what it sees as ‘false information’ the municipality has put out about the facility.

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority’s James Hemsath wrote an letter to the Skagway Borough Assembly recently. In it, he disputes claims made by the borough’s attorney, Bob Blasco, and Mayor Mark Schaefer.

Hemsath says the incentive for the letter came from a memo Blasco wrote earlier this summer to the assembly. The memo summarizes a meeting between municipality and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation representatives. Blasco talks about AIDEA putting up roadblocks in the borough’s effort to clean up legacy contamination in the ore basin.

But Hemsath rejects that claim. He says AIDEA is ‘happy to cooperate’ and has offered several times to allow access to the ore terminal property. He also disputes Blasco’s assertion that AIDEA is one of the parties responsible for that contamination to begin with.

Hemsath says suspicions municipal officials have expressed about continued contamination at the ore terminal are unfounded, and a breach of the borough’s landlord duties.  He says the ‘continued misstatements about the ore terminal cast a cloud over the facility and its operations.’

An executive session to discuss the letter is planned at the end of the Thursday’s Skagway Borough Assembly meeting. Attorney Blasco will be involved in the discussion.