A point of contention surrounding the  proposed new Tidelands lease between the municipality and White Pass has been the production of a socioeconomic study.

While citizens have voiced wanting one, borough assembly members have said that a lease does not need one like a project does.

During an August 19 Port Commission meeting, commissioners discussed the possibility of the commission funding it.

Commissioner John Tronrud suggested they use $17,000 in contractual monies already within the budget to fund the study.

“Personally I think we are voting on a lease by emotion come October. I think there should be some facts,” he said. “As a body that gives recommendation to the assembly, we have $17,000 sitting in our contractual budget that we could spend.”

Borough Manager Scott Hahn said with a study, you would be making assumptions and predictions, and added that you have to know your parameters to do a study.

“I see nothing wrong with making predictions if we choose to have a, b and c scenarios. Of course it’s a prediction, but you can tack numbers on it,” Commissioner Steve Hites said.

He also commented on the assembly’s take that leases do not need a socioeconomic study.

He referenced his former lease on AB Hall, which he said had a negotiation at the end of every year.  During those negotiations, predictions were made.

Commissioners did not decide whether or not to move forward with the study, but agreed to think it over and reach a decision at their next meeting.