By Melinda Munson
The Skagway Borough Assembly unanimously voted down two proposals by Prosperity Investments (Alaska) LLC .
The first plan would have removed the aging ore loader at the price of $1, on or before April 27, to be relocated to another community.
Company spokesperson Harold Jahn, described by the Chilkat Valley News as “a Canadian developer with a murky track record,” disputed that the loader was headed to a competing community.
“There’s a lot of rumor spreading that this equipment would go to Haines and our intent is not to take it to Haines,” Jahn said.
He suggested that Bellingham, Washington could be the future site of the refurbished ore loader.
“He told me multiple times that it’s for Haines,” confirmed Borough Manager Brad Ryan.
Assembly members voted down the proposal, opting to stick with the current Ore Dock redevelopment plan, which has yet to go to bid.
“I’m not willing to gamble our economy based on a tight timeline,” Assemblymember Deb Potter said.
“He can make that same offer to the contractor,” Ryan said. “The risk to us was huge.”
Ryan also noted that “the municipality is aware of the degraded condition of the ore loader, which was a major factor in the municipality’s decision to remove it instead of continuing to use it. It does not feel responsible to allow the structure to be re-erected and used in another community waterfront area, where residents will subsistence fish for salmon and halibut, and harvest shellfish.”
Prosperity Investments’ second proposal was to dredge the sediment in the Ore Terminal at a cost to the municipality of $1, to be carried out in the next 12 months. A letter from Prosperity stated they are building an ore concrete export terminal in an Alaskan community and are seeking a “regional source of fine and course dredged fill materials for the concrete that can be delivered by barge.”
The Ore Terminal has a history of contamination. After less than 20 seconds of discussion, the dredging request was also denied.