If there is no new lease agreement with White Pass, the current lease gives them two options: sell the docks or remove them, period! In the late 60’s/early 70’s White Pass also put in all the landfill that now constitutes the “uplands” of the waterfront. The waterfront prior to that was about where First Avenue is now. Does the current lease say White Pass must remove “all improvements” – does that mean it has to remove all the landfill?
If the municipality has to buy the docks, where is it going to find the $40-50 million it would take to buy them?
If I understand the newest lease proposal, the city would take over ownership of the docks and the uplands at the end of 15 years at no cost. The city would receive additional income from the current lease for those 15 years and any renewals of subleases with Petro, AML, Temsco and others would be made only with city approval. I do not understand the people who are saying “take back” the waterfront – the city of Skagway has never owned the docks, and if there are no docks, who would pay to lease that land? How can you “take back” something you never owned?
I am no great fan of White Pass, but let me ask this: If you owned a business on leased land and planned to invest millions in renovations, would you want less than a 15 year guarantee you could be on that land?
Sharon Bolton • Skagway