Assembly talks about housing, air quality

    Skagway, Alaska (KINY) Voters re-elected two incumbent members of the Assembly last week.

    Steve Burnham and Jay Burnham were re-elected for three-year terms.  37-percent of the registered voters cast ballots in the election.

    Skagway also set a record for the number of cruise ship visitors again this year.

    Mayor Monica Carlson proposed the use of two blocks in town for a new housing development.  The lack of housing for season workers has been among the issues the Assembly has faced in recent years.  "I'd like to work together on Garden City for a future housing development.  I will recommend a mixed-use development with high density.  The community must be involved so this plan is the best for Skagway."

    She also wants the Assembly Public Safety Committee to discuss the future of the Skagway Fire Department

    There are three additional candidates to consider for Skagway managers.  There are currently three other finalists.

    They also approved on first reading a revision to the hotel-motel tax for overnight accommodations of less than 30 days.

    Assembly member Jay Burnham said this evens the playing field, "This at least puts a lot of the hotels and air bed and breakfast situations under the same hotel-motel tax, of 8-percent.  It is closer to the same playing field."

    Nicole Kovacs of the Skagway Traditional Council said an air quality monitoring study is planned for 2019.

    She added that health values in a 2005 study were below health standards.

    The group is also partnering with a group out of Sitka on water quality tests that affect various shellfish

    Assembly member Orian Hanson said he was disgusted by the national debate in Washington and the lack of respect shown by politicians to each other.

    He said Skagway should continue to work together even when there are differences of opinion




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