Finance Committee reviews priorities for marine passenger fees

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The list includes $1 million for cruise ship dock shore power, $3 million for Statter Harbor improvements, and $2.5 million for work on the waterfront Seawalk.

    The cost of shore power is likely to cost tens of millions, CBJ Manager Rorie Watt said.  He said to proceed with such a project the CBJ will need to consider many options and financial vehicles.

    A safety guardrail along the dock face would be funded at $1 million if the list were approved.

    The Statter Harbor Phase III will complete the roughly $12 million project.  The project will support commercial boats operating at the harbor and reduce congestion and conflicts with non-tour related boat activity.

    Work on the Seawalk includes $1.5 million to provide fill at Marine Park where the lightering float previously existed.  Other work includes the advancement of the seawalk from the Franklin Dock to the National Guard Float.  Longer-term projects include an extension across from the Merchant's Wharf building, an extension through the subport uplands and an extension from the subport to Gold Creek.

    Other projects on the list include a pedestrian safety project on South Franklin Street.  The project includes pedestrian stanchions and removal and replacement of large bulky obstructions like light poles, signs, garbage cans.  The improvements would increase pedestrian capacity and improve safety.  The project limits are between Manila Square and Taku Fisheries.  The price tag is $1 million.

    The list also includes a $100,000 Juneau Cruise Passenger survey.   It will seek to get info about passenger shopping and touring habits.  Passengers will also be asked about the quality of their visits to Juneau.

    A transportation study of $150,000 would address ways to improve traffic congestion.  One suggestion is a shuttle to the Glacier Visitor Center.  Another proposal is a downtown circulator bus around the waterfront.

    Other expenditures include a new ambulance for $235,000 and a study of researchers to evaluate whale-watching vessel compliance with current regulations and guidelines.

    City Manager Rorie Watt said he felt it is important to keep moving these projects noting the CBJ is a big economic driver in the community.

    He said his goal is to advance the projects that are closest to being ready to proceed.

    Assembly Member Rob Edwardson objected to the $100,000 whale sense study.  He said Cruise Lines International should fund the study.

    More discussion on the list is planned in April.

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