Boats berth at Don D. Statter Harbor in February. On Wednesday evening the City and Borough of Juneau’s Docks and Harbors Board OK’d a 9% increase to all docks and harbors fees with one exception. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Boats berth at Don D. Statter Harbor in February. On Wednesday evening the City and Borough of Juneau’s Docks and Harbors Board OK’d a 9% increase to all docks and harbors fees with one exception. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Docks and Harbors board OKs 9% increase for nearly all fees

Increase will go into effect in January if passed by the Assembly.

A 9% increase to all docks and harbors fees — with one exception — was passed by the City and Borough of Juneau’s Docks and Harbors Board on Wednesday night.

The proposed increases now head to the Assembly for a final decision. If passed by members the increase would go into effect beginning in January. Some of the 26 fees subject to the rise include moorage rates, resident surcharge rates, launch rates, parking rates and daily shore power fees.

The one exception to the 9% increase is the monthly moorage fees, which board members voted instead to stagger over three years, rising 3% each year.

Harbormaster Matthew Creswell said CBJ harbor fees have broadly remained unchanged since 2008 and cruise ship fees since 2005. He said the increases are necessary to address recent inflation and cost of maintenance. According to the board, the increases are based on a recent harbor rate study, which found a 9% rise in fees was needed to fund necessary maintenance, such as float replacement and maintenance, and additional future projects.

“The study validated our observation that our rates have not kept pace with the economic influence and that the harbor patrons are not generally willing to accept less facilities or reduction in services,” states a board information packet.

At the meeting Wednesday night, two residents spoke in opposition to the increase, one resident in favor. Clayton Hamilton, a local fisherman, argued an increase in the cost of the harbors would disproportionately affect local users and the liveaboard community. He urged the board to “leave the harbors alone.” In a letter to the board, he called the increase “irresponsible.”

“The harbor users in Juneau are paying too much,” he said. “The solution is to move forward on the docks enterprise fee increases — the 9% is fine — but leave the harbors alone.”

Another resident, Shane Kraus, who is a liveaboard, said the increase would financially impact his family and warned it would likely force liveaboards away from their homes, resulting in more abandoned vessels in the harbors.

Lacey Derr, a former DH board member, said she was in favor of the increases. She argued the “harbors are barely breaking even” and for current services to remain an increase is necessary. She said she too would be subjected to the increases herself as a current vessel owner.

The board received multiple written comments about the proposed increases, most expressing opposition.

Assembly member and board liaison Wade Bryson said in an interview Thursday he supports the increases and believes other members will as well.

“One of the harsh realities that we’re facing in the city is that just everything is more expensive,” he said. “Not increasing the 9% doesn’t make the higher costs go away, it only shifts the burden to citizens that maybe are not using the docks and harbors.”

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of July 6

Here’s what to expect this week.

Looking like a gray turtle, an automated mower cuts grass in front of Thunder Mountain Middle School with boxes stacked in a classroom window beyond. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)
Random adventures of robo-mowers…now performing again this summer at Juneau’s schools

Four pillow-sized bots resembling turtles with tiny razor-sharp blades provide class for the grass.

Disney Williams (right) orders coffee from Lorelai Bingham from the Flying Squirrel coffee stand at Juneau International Airport on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
New coffee stand at airport stirs up heated dispute about having proper authorization to operate

Fans of Flying Squirrel Espresso praise location, hours; officials say FAA violations could be costly.

Nano Brooks and Emily Mesch file for candidacy on Friday at the City and Borough of Juneau Municipal Clerk’s office in City Hall. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
City and Borough of Juneau regular municipal election candidate filing period opens

So far, most vie for Assembly District 2 seat — mayor, Board of Education, and District 1 also open.

Killah Priest performs at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center in December 2019. (Photo courtesy of Lance Mitchell)
Killah Priest sets new record with Alaskan artists on ‘Killah Borealis’

Wu-Tang Clan rapper seeks to lift Alaskan voices and culture in his return performance to Juneau

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, July 10, 2024

For Wednesday, July 10 Attempt to Serve At 10:06 a.m. on Wednesday,… Continue reading

Commercial fishing boats are lined up at the dock at Seward’s harbor on June 22. Federal grants totaling a bit over $5 million have been awarded to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to help Alaskans sell more fish to more diverse groups of consumers. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Federal grants to state agency aim to expand markets for Alaska seafood

More than $5M to help ASMI comes after Gov. Dunleavy vetoed $10M for agency.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds up the omnibus crime bill, House Bill 66, after signing it at a ceremony Thursday at the Department of Public Safety’s aircraft hangar at Lake Hood in Anchorage. At his side are Sandy Snodgrass, whose 22-year-old son died in 2021 from a fentanyl overdose, and Angela Harris, who was stabbed in 2022 by a mentally disturbed man at the public library in Anchorage and injured so badly that she now uses a wheelchair. Snodgrass and Harris advocated for provisions in the bill.Behind them are legislators, law enforcement officers and others. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Goals for new Alaska crime law range from harsher penalties for drug dealers to reducing recidivism

Some celebrate major progress on state’s thorniest crime issues while others criticize the methods.

Most Read