Skagway Assembly will honor U.S. Army pilot killed in helicopter crash in Afghanistan

The Skagway Assembly will begin Thursday’s meeting by honoring a former resident killed while serving the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Jacob M. Sims, 36, died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Defense)

U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jacob M. Sims, 36, died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Defense)

In a news release Sunday, the Department of Defense confirmed Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jacob Sims died from injuries sustained in a helicopter crash.

According to a proclamation from the mayor and Assembly, Sims grew up in Skagway and graduated from Skagway High School.

Earlier this week, Gov. Bill Walker ordered United States and Alaska flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of Sims.

The Assembly will also continue to discuss a Memorandum of Understanding with White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad.

The municipality and White Pass are trying to negotiate a new waterfront lease. Negotiations are motivated by the need to renovate Skagway’s port to accommodate larger cruise ships by 2019.

At the last Assembly meeting, newly elected Mayor Monica Carlson proposed halting negotiations. She had support from David Brena, who was recently elected to the Assembly.

Met with opposition from other assembly members, Carlson decided to continue the conversation outside Assembly chambers. She’s working to schedule a retreat to discuss the lease.

White Pass President John Finlayson sent a letter to Carlson and the assembly earlier this month, requesting an executive session to help complete negotiations.

Also on the agenda is a request from the Skagway Local Emergency Planning Committee. The group recommends the municipality apply for a grant from the State Homeland Security Program for emergency equipment. The committee wants to purchase a community siren, backup generator, and a utility trailer.

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