By Leigh Armstrong

The second phase of the Pullen Creek StreamWalk is postponed until the borough manager is able to talk with property owners along the route.

Assembly members voted unanimously Oct. 3 to postpone any further work until they can determine if the project will be able to obtain agreements to proceed through private property.

Assemblymember Steve Burnham pushed for the borough manager to have a chance to talk and negotiate with landowners before spending $15,000 for ProHNS, a civil engineering firm based in Haines, to talk with property owners on behalf of the municipality. 

“I don’t think we’ve allowed him (the borough manager) enough time to make this attempt,” Burnham said.

The assembly will revisit the project after Borough Manager Brad Ryan talks with landowners. The additional phases of building out the walk along the stream will require their permission.

Assemblymember Jay Burnham said borough treasurer Heather Rodig had spoken to the landowners when she was sharing borough manager duties with clerk Emily Deach earlier this year and was near an agreement with property owners.

The first phase of the trail, completed in 2015-2016, goes from the Broadway dock to Congress Way and includes stream overlooks, signage and a footbridge. The second phase will extend the trail north from the Lower Lake trail bridge to city hall. The proposed path would extend through private property, including the Pullen house.

“Before we jump in, we need to have some coordination going forward,” Assemblymember Tim Cochran said.

The municipality had put out a request for proposals on the completion of the second phase, and ProHNS was the low bidder at $63,000.