Skagway, White Pass, talk about future

    Skagway, Alaska (KINY) The cleanup of the ore basin, keeping industrial capability, a floating dock for larger cruise ships, and an increase in revenues from the port were on the agenda of the Skagway Assembly Committee of the Whole meeting.

    Assembly member Tom Cochran said the port commission recently raised these issues, "The immediate needs of the port are remediation of the ore basin, enhanced infrastructure, and retention of industrial capabilities.  That in the nutshell are the most immediate concerns."

    Tim Borsee with the Skagway Development Corporation said this is a great opportunity for Skagway, "I'm really excited about where were at.  I'm excited were in the same room with the new ownership group because it is a new day.  It is kind of a carpe diem day for the municipality of Skagway.  We have a long history, a very good history with the past owners of White Pass."

    Resident Beth Smith said Skagway should use the port as a bargaining chip for improvements to the community, "There has been a lot of talk for controlling our port.  we don't need to manage it.  we can use the port as a bargaining chip to obtain the things that we need."

    She listed a sewer plant expansion, the incinerator needs to be expanded, parking and traffic flow needs to be improved and the ore dock is in rough shape.

    Bob Berto, New President of the Railroad, says they are starting the process to permit new floating docks at the port, "We just need to get it moving so whatever arrangement we come up with, we can get this done.  We understand the issue of more involvement, a better agreement, we understand the communities needs to find creative ways to increase the revenue flow."

    Berto said the company would also support industrial uses at the port, and work with the school district's plan for a vocational facility.

    Berto said a stakeholders meeting on the ore dock basin cleanup is planned on September 5th.

    Through its subsidiary, Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, Carnival Corp acquired the White Pass & Yukon Route rail division of TWC Enterprises, which includes White Pass’ port, railroad and retail operations in Skagway, Alaska.

    Holland America Princess Alaska Tours has also executed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to make Survey Point Holdings, Inc, an Alaskan company based in Ketchikan, the managing partner of the port,

    The agreements will allow them to expand Skagway’s docking facilities to accommodate the newest generation of cruise ships, among other investments. Survey Point will continue managing the railroad day-to-day terminal operations and customer relations.

    The White Pass & Yukon Route provides rail excursions for cruise travelers between Skagway and Whitehorse, the capital of the historic Yukon territory.








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