Author: Julianne Stanford

Funding approved for youth soccer league

Skagway’s youth soccer league was awarded $750 from the assembly’s discretionary fund during a meeting on July 21. Philipp Wagner, the organizer of both the adult and the new youth soccer leagues, requested funding from the municipality to assist in developing the youth soccer program. “I have decided to form Skagway FC, an educational organization with the mission to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of Skagway’s youth, through the sport of soccer, at all levels of age and competition,” Wagner wrote in a letter to the assembly to request the funds. The approved funds will go towards age-group appropriate soccer balls, pennies, cones and small goals. “I contacted a company that’s actually giving me a very good deal with 45 percent off retail price so we can get the jerseys for a good deal and also the soccer balls for a good deal, otherwise that number would be a lot higher,” Wagner said. Wagner said he isn’t relying solely on funds from the municipality to fund the program. Children who wish to join the league also have to pay a $25 membership fee, and each child is responsible for his or her own footwear and protective gear. There are currently two age groups in the youth soccer league of 5-7 year olds and 8-12 year olds. Wagner said he expects the program to continue growing....

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Assembly approves grants for automatic fire extinguishing systems

The assembly approved four applications for partial funding to install or maintain automatic fire extinguishing systems. Under a grant program that began in 2014, the municipality will fund 40 percent of the cost to install new automatic fire extinguishing systems or maintain already existing systems for buildings in the historic district. The budget for fiscal year 2017 allotted up to $150,000 of sales tax revenues to be used for the program and these four awarded grants will come in well under budget for a total cost of $39,140. The approved applicants include grants to repair a non-functioning system in a private residence in the historic district, conduct maintenance on the system at Bites on Broadway, replace a sprinkler system at Klothes Rush and conduct maintenance and repair work to bring the sprinkler head at the Eagles into...

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Clinic applies for grant to streamline medical record data entry processes

The municipality approved Dahl Memorial Clinic Director Shelly O’Boyle’s request to apply for a one-time federal grant for technology system enhancements to streamline the process of creating electronic health records. “Right now it’s a manual process, so the results come out, they’re given to a provider, provider talks to the patient and then they have to be input by a medical staff member into the system, so this would reduce that need,” O’Boyle said. “So in theory, reduce errors.” The clinic hopes to use a $42,920 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to purchase equipment that would be directly integrated into current electronic patient health records. The Clinic Board of Directors approved O’Boyle’s grant application at their last meeting on June 23. “This would allow test results to automatically be uploaded into patient charts so it would reduce the risk of error, increase sufficiency and remove the need for staff to perform this task manually,” O’Boyle wrote in a letter to the assembly. Assemblyman Steve Burnham Jr. expressed a concern over the potential raise in cost to receive care at the clinic as a result of the new equipment. “I don’t foresee any increase,” O’Boyle said. “Eventually the staff will just have more time to focus on other areas of care.” The application must be submitted by 5 p.m. EST on July 20 to be eligible...

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Assembly hears proposal for a Senior Center

Members of the Senior Ad Hoc Advisory Committee presented the assembly with a proposal for a senior center during the assembly meeting on July 7, alongside a request to begin the bidding process for an architecture and engineering firm to get the project underway. Senior Ad Hoc Committee Chairman Michael Baish said this project is particularly important because it will directly impact the community. “This project specifically benefits the year round residents of Skagway and allows them to remain in town close to their friends and family, rather than alone at an outside facility,” Baish said. “This is a project for Skagway, about Skagway, not about the tourist industry, or the summer. It’s almost unique in that way.” The senior center is planned to be a 10,400 square foot facility built on the corner of 11th and Broadway, where the old White Pass hospital was formerly located, with an estimated price tag of $5.9 million dollars. One member of the community expressed concern over the proposed location for the facility. “It’s a beautiful spot, but it’s not even that good for the seniors. If they come home drunk they’ll land in the crik and drown,” Mavis Henricksen said during public comments on the project. The senior center would house approximately seven apartments, two of which could be subsidized for low-income residents, in addition to a lobby, an arts and...

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Fee increases for use of Small Boat Harbor

The municipality has passed a fee schedule increase to incrementally raise the commercial and non-commercial use rates for Small Boat Harbor over the next five years. Harbormaster Matt O’Boyle said the fee increase is necessary to offset annual cost of business increases, such as utilities and salaries. “What we’re trying to do here is to offset the annual increase that about right now is a $13,000 increase every year,” he said. “We’re adding to the reserve funds so we can have these capitals and repair funds.” Such projects would include installing lighting in the harbor parking lot and repairing the water line system. All commercial vessels, including fishing charters and kayaks, will be required to pay an extra four cents per passenger to load and unload passengers at the harbor. The current rate to use the harbor for commercial purposes is $1.80 per person. As of April 1, 2017, the fee will increase to $1.84. By 2020, the fee increases will raise the cost to $1.96 per person. For one-way commercial use of the harbor, to only unload or load passengers, the fee will increase by two cents per year. The current rate for one-way use of the harbor stands at 90 cents per passenger. As of April 1, 2017, the tariff will increase to 92 cents. Increases are planned to end in 2020, at which time it will...

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