The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly recently passed amendements linking all harbor fees to the consumer price index and raising the dockage fees, which applies primarily to large vessels reserving mooring at city piers, such as the Don D. Statter Harbor breakwater. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly recently passed amendements linking all harbor fees to the consumer price index and raising the dockage fees, which applies primarily to large vessels reserving mooring at city piers, such as the Don D. Statter Harbor breakwater. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Amendment passes increasing dockage fee

Harbor fees are now linked to consumer price index.

The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly recently passed regulations linking all fees for harbor use to the consumer price index and increasing the dockage fee.

The moorage fee, long the largest source of revenue for the Docks and Harbors department, has been linked to the CPI for more than 20 years, said Harbormaster Matt Creswell.

Now, the amendment links all 24 harbor fees, which cover various aspects of the facilities like electricity, launch ramp permits and boat charges to the CPI.

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“What we did was to clean up language and regulations. We attached all of our rates to the CPI,” Creswell said. “If it goes up, it goes up. If it goes down, it goes down.”

During the Assembly session, at least one Juneau resident spoke out against the proposed amendment.

“We’re raising costs for just us folks that have boats in the harbor. But more people use it than that,” said Russell Peterson, who lives aboard his vessel M/V Seal. “We shouldn’t have rate increases for public harbors while we’re talking about buying a $2 million gondola.”

The other adjustment was to the dockage fees, which applies to larger vessels reserving mooring space at city owned piers including the Steamship Wharf, the Cruise Ship Terminal, and the Don D. Statter Harbor breakwater.

“That’s the rates for the vessels that make reservations; yachts, primarily,” Creswell said. “That’s not a rate that affects the people of Juneau to a great extent.”

That rate has been unchanged since 2007, Creswell said. The amendment passed would double the rates per foot, which vary depending on the length of the vessel.

“Our revenue has remained steady while our costs have exponentially increased. Where we had a nice separation between the two, they’ve now come together,” Creswell said. “We are tasked with operating in the black. We aren’t a general fund department.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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