By Greta Mart, KHNS

The Haines Chamber of Commerce is rescinding a request to the borough assembly regarding local businesses affected by June’s E.coli scare.

A letter from Chamber President Kyle Gray was originally included in tonight’s borough assembly meeting packet. The letter asked the borough to consider waiving June water and sewer charges for eateries that lost revenue due to a boil notice on June 24th.

Chamber Executive Director Debra Schnabel says a conversation with Borough Manager Dave Sosa following last week’s submission of the letter prompted the chamber to rescind the letter.

Schnabel said the borough administration had concerns about the request and was not ready to support it. She said the chamber was “not interested in forcing a debate over the merits of the request.”

In the letter, Gray pointed out the financial toll suffered by local eateries after a routine water quality sample tested positive for the harmful bacteria E.coli.

For two days, all those using municipal tap water were ordered by the borough and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to boil it before use. Gray says in the letter that local businesses had to either meet the standards required by the DEC for processing potable water or close their doors. Those forced to close lost revenue.

Gray said the chamber is no longer asking the borough to waive water and sewer fees. He said the chamber and borough will work together to come up with a different solution.