Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Assembly Committee of the Whole recommended negotiations on a tidelands lease to allow construction of a floating berth.
The Committee also directed the manager to negotiate with Franklin Dock Enterprises on easements to allow the extension of the Juneau Seawalk.
"Were giving him free rein to negotiate an extension of our seawalk," Assembly Member Rob Edwardson said.
An ordinance for the lease would go to the full Assembly. The public can comment on whether the CBJ should authorize the lease of tidelands for the floating berth at a public hearing on March 16.
The applicant said the floating berth will not mean an expansion of berthing capacity. The berth would allow for more efficient unloading and loading of passengers. It will allow visitors to spend more time onshore on tours and shopping.
The floating berth could also facilitate additional shore power connections if the infrastructure is installed. Shore power creates a cost savings on local electric bills.
The floating dock could provide shore power on both sides of cruise ships that are so equipped.
Franklin Dock is the only fixed pier dock in the port that is used by larger cruise ships.
Since Franklin Dock Enterprises owns the tidelands on the Juneau Seawalk to the National Guard dock, they want to exchange the value of the tidelands that CBJ desires for use of the National Guard dock.
The applicant could ask for marine passenger fees to help fund the expansion of the existing shore power.
The CBJ would like the Juneau Seawalk to be eventually extended to the AJ Dock.
Port Director Carl Uchytil said the National Guard Dock needs to be condemned and rebuilt.
Assembly Member Loren Jones said he doesn't see much of value of holding onto the National Guard dock.