Talks Move Forward on Juneau Cruise Dock Project

The Juneau Assembly Committee of the Whole granted approval for the Docks and Harbors department to move forward with financial planning for a proposed $48 million downtown cruise ship dock project. Funding the project, which includes constructing two docks to accommodate cruise ships up to 1,000 feet long, would necessitate assessing higher fees on cruise ships docking there. "What we'll do is look at the construction cost associated with that facility and the operating cost and determine what those costs are and we'll develop a tariff, which is basically a charge to the cruise ships to finance the project," said port Director John Stone. Docks and Harbors presently generates $1.1 million annually in dock fees and would probably need an extra $3 million per year to finance the proposed project. The city currently charges cruise ships using the docks a $3-per-foot fee in addition to 5-and-a-half cents per net registered ton. Kirby Day, director of shore operation for Princess Cruises, said he likes the project, but that more work needed to be done to settle how it would be paid for. If approved, the projected is slated to be complete in late 2010.

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