June 21, 2018 Friends of SS Nenana met with;
Karl Kassel, Mayor
Jim Williams, Chief of Staff
Melissa Kellner, Long-Rang Planner, Community Planning Department
Kellen Spillman, Community Planning Department
Dan Sloan, Public Works Director
Michael Bork, Parks and Recreation Director
Don Hayes, Pioneer Park Manager
A short history of our group, Friends of SS Nenana was presented on how we came to be. We updated them with all of our information, web page, Facebook page, and contact information.
Explaining to them our first priority is the set up of a nonprofit corporation with a 501 (c) (3) status, under the name Friends of SS Nenana.
A staff member suggested we create a “foundation” which started a discussion on the topic. There could be two entities, a corporation to do the work and a foundation for fundraising and invest.
We stated our short-term goal is first to stabilize the SS Nenana, then repair and restore her once again. The long-term goal is to make the SS Nenana self-sufficient by creating an organization that would maintain the boat for the future.
We discussed the subject of a lease or other legal methods of obtaining control of the SS Nenana from the Borough to work on the restoration. They told us a relatively new method had been devised that would work for our needs. The borough could lease the boat to the group on a yearly basis then the group would have control of it to maintain and insure it as well as run a concession or other forms of raising money.
Permission was obtained for our group of Engineers to inspect the condition of the sternwheeler in a sequence of different dates with a limited amount of people per inspection for safety reasons.
The mayor and staff were very receptive and pleased our group is organizing to take over restoration and maintenance of the SS Nenana, and its future. They want to be helpful in turning over any information that the Friends of SS Nenana may need.
We were very pleased as well that the meeting went so well!