This article has been updated to more accurately reflect industry projections.
The City and Borough of Juneau is accepting project proposals for how citizens want the city to spend its marine passenger fee money.
The annual public proposal period — which lasts from Dec. 1 through Jan. 2, 2023 — is a city initiative meant to encourage local businesses and residents to offer up ideas about what project they would like to see the city take on via funding from the CBJ Marine Passenger Fee, a $5 fee charged to each cruise ship passenger that enters the city.
CBJ Tourism Manager Alexandra Pierce said Juneau is projected to welcome around 1.4 million visitors this coming cruise season and expects the combination of the marine passenger fee along with the port development fee and state’s commercial passenger vessel excise tax to collect around $20 million to be used toward these projects. However, Pierce noted that the number of visitors could be higher if ships are full as total capacity will be 1.6 million.
Pierce said the fund goes toward visitor industry-related projects like city service enhancements and infrastructure maintenance. In recent years, she said passenger-proposed projects that were approved funded projects downtown like the construction of water-filling stations and pedestrian stanchions, along with projects at Don. D Statter Harbor such as improvements to facilities for whale watching boats.
“I think this is the public opportunity to tell CBJ how they want visitor industry dollars spent on both infrastructure that can positively impact visitors and residents,” she said.
At the end of the public period in early January, all submitted proposals and comments will be forwarded to City Manager Rorie Watt who will develop a recommendations list to present to the Assembly Finance Committee for review and consideration.
The draft recommendation and all proposals will be available on the marine passenger fee program website. Proposals can be sent to Pierce at email@example.com.
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.