A cruise ship moored at Skagway's ore dock. Port consultants recommend Skagway act immediately to modify the ore dock for larger vessels. (Emily Files)

A cruise ship moored at Skagway’s ore dock. Port consultants recommend Skagway act immediately to modify the ore dock for larger vessels. (Emily Files)

Skagway and White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad officials are negotiating a lease amendment that would allow a proposed floating dock to move forward.

The proposal has not been approved and the details are not yet public. A special assembly meeting on the matter is scheduled for Wednesday.

Skagway is facing a tight deadline to renovate its waterfront in time for bigger cruise ships in 2019.

Progress on the port has been in limbo since voters rejected a tidelands lease extension with White Pass in 2015. The current lease gives the railroad control over much of the waterfront until 2023.

In an attempt to move beyond the stalemate, the municipality hired port consultant Moffatt & Nichol. The consultants presented their short-term recommendation earlier this month. They urged Skagway to act fast on a $14.5 million floating addition to the ore dock. The modification would allow a larger cruise ship to tie up to the dock.

Around the same time, White Pass President John Finlayson wrote a letter to Skagway officials, saying the company was ready to present a proposal that would address waterfront issues.

On Monday, White Pass and Skagway leaders had that meeting. It lasted about three hours.

Assemblyman Tim Cochran is on the municipality negotiating team. He said White Pass proposed an amendment to the current tidelands lease that would allow the ore dock modification to move forward.

Cochran declined to share other details of the proposal. But he said it “looks promising.”

The entire assembly will be briefed on the matter at a special meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. The conversation includes the borough attorney and will take place behind closed doors.  If the assembly were to take any action on the proposal, it would need to do so in public.

There is also a port consultant steering committee meeting earlier in the day Wednesday. At that meeting, Moffatt & Nichol will present an economic analysis on the waterfront, a port governance study and a review of environmental issues in the port.