Alaska Marine Highway System restructuring highlights annual meeting of Southeast Conference

    JUNEAU, Alaska (KINY) - A restructuring of the Alaska Marine Highway System will highlight next week's annual meeting of the Southeast Conference in Petersburg.

    That was discussed on Action Line Monday.

    The conference approved a resolution at its annual meeting last year calling for changes in the Marine Highway.

    The resolution led to a statewide initiative led by the Southeast Conference that has the blessing and support of the Walker Administration.

    Conference Executive Director Shelly Wright says the process is progressing nicely:

    "We have a consultant hired and they're working on phase one of the project. That's the review of the governance strategy we're looking at for the Marine Highway. The steering committee has met with the consultant, and he's doing his work right now. Hopefully, we'll have some more definitive information at our annual meeting in Petersburg."

    Phase Two will be the actual plan. 

    Robert Venables, who chairs the Marine Transportation Advisory Board, is also coordinating this project for the Southeast Conference:

    "We're going to come out of the annual meeting with a strong sense of where things are going as far as the recommendation for governance. We'll probably have a couple more teleconferences with the steering committee, and then we'll have something by the end of the year that is more of a directional document that will close out phase one in regard to the mission, goals, objectives, as well as a preferred governance structure. Then that will be fleshed out and we'll dive into more detail in phase two."

    The project kicked off with a Ferry Summit last month in Anchorage.

    The annual Southeast Conference meeting is scheduled from September 20th through the 22nd.


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