At the recommendation of the Port Commission, the Skagway Borough Assembly has agreed to review and send out a request for proposal (RFP) for a port consultancy.
The RFP was suggested in May and has been discussed at various assembly meetings throughout the summer. But the assembly has decided to act on it and will review the RFP on July 21.
Port Commission Chair Tim Bourcy said the current port plan is almost 10 years old and is no longer relevant to the issues at hand. Hiring a consultant would not only allow conversations with the municipality, but with port stakeholders as well.
“The reality, at the end of the day, if we are going to be successful in building out the Port of Skagway as we have envisioned and hope to envision, it will be a public/private partnership,” he said. “The Municipality of Skagway I don’t think has the financial capacity, we potentially could, to actually build it out on its own.”
Assemblyman Spencer Morgan agreed with the recommendation saying the municipality has reached a stagnant place, but Assemblywoman Angela Grieser said she doesn’t see the value of a consultant in the short term.
“Until 2023, or until we reengage with White Pass and decide what we’re doing… White Pass knows what they want. We know what we want,” she said. “I can see in the long term future after this gets solved, but in the short term we need to solve this before we can plan anything.”
Morgan argued that both the long term and short term are quickly getting shorter.
“Successful people always surround themselves with people that can help you plan or help you do the job that you can’t do right now,” he said.
Commissioners suggested assembly members lower the the rating of a consultant with Skagway experience.
“Having somebody from the outside that has no skin in the game whatsoever, no history, that can just come in and look at it with a new set of eyes would be a welcome approach,” Bourcy said.
Assembly members agreed and asked Skagway Borough Manager Scott Hahn to adjust the RFP and bring it forward at the next meeting.
Assemblyman Dan Henry said he wasn’t for or against it, but just didn’t want it to cost too much. The consultant will be paid for from the Port Commission’s budget.
The assembly agreed to bring the RFP back later in the month, with only Grieser voting against it.