The City and Borough of Juneau’s Docks and Harbors board is expected to take action tonight on future plans for the Alaska Commercial Fishermen’s Memorial.
The City Assembly approved the cruise ship dock expansion project 16B, with the express condition the board work with the memorial board if moving the memorial was deemed necessary.
The memorial board ultimately would rather not have the cruise ship docks built in front of the memorial because it values the ability to connect the structure with its yearly Blessing of the Fleet.
The memorial board wrote a letter to Docks and Harbors stating that preference above all else, and listed alternatives, the top being Marine Park.
Debate and discussion on whether and where to move the memorial has been going on for nearly a year. The board will likely hear more testimony at tonight’s meeting, and is expected to take action. That action will go forward to the Assembly’s Committee of the Whole, scheduled for Aug. 29.
Assembly members have already begun rumbling about the issue. At the end of a prior Assembly meeting, Assemblymember Johan Dybdahl indicated he wanted to see the memorial stay and perhaps limit the scope of 16B, but foremost wanted to ensure the Assembly would have a chance to give input. At Monday’s Assembly meeting, member Ruth Danner said it is highly unlikely 16B will be stopped, but she encouraged people to look for ways to redesign 16B to better accommodate Fishermen’s Memorial — and if that wasn’t possible, then work to accommodate the memorial as much as possible. Danner had proposed moving the cruise ship berths further north, thus giving the memorial more waterfront space, however after seeing drawings and talking with the harbors engineer, it was determined that option won’t work.
Tonight’s Docks and Harbors meeting is at 7 p.m. in the Assembly Chambers. The COW meeting is 6 p.m. Aug. 29, but the Assembly typically does not take public comment on discussion items during those meetings.
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