Docks and Harbors renews Coeur permit

The City and Borough of Juneau’s Docks and Harbors department has renewed Coeur Alaska’s permit to use a city launch ramp through the winter.

Coeur’s Kensington Mine has used the launch ramp at Echo Cove the past three years during the winter since the regular passenger ferry travels through Lynn Canal.

“Essentially during the winter months, Lynn Canal can get rough and dangerous,” said Port Director Carl Uchytil. “By allowing Coeur Alaska to operate out of our facility it will save them time, it’s also a safety issue for their people. We do have an ordinance to allow passenger use of our facilities and essentially what we will be charging Coeur Alaska for this right is $1.10 per person plus an application fee.”

Uchytil said Kensington estimates 11,500 passengers will be transported via the the Echo Cove ramp from Nov. 14 through April 30.

“So that’s about $12,000 for Docks and Harbors,” Uchytil said. “It’s not a great amount of money but its something that helps the mine and helps Juneau economics to provide this service. There is no additional strain on Docks and Harbors.”
In the past Coeur Alaska has taken care of snow plowing, garbage and related tasks at the ramp during the winter months. The board wants Uchytil to confirm that will continue, but unanimously approved renewing the permit.

“It’s not really the safest thing, transporting off of Sandy Beach,” said board member Wayne Wilson. “We need to be making sure they have insurance in place that would cover any injuries that would happen during transport of their own miners.”

Uchytil said there is an insurance clause in the permit, but he would double check it.

“They’ve been doing this for three years and we haven’t had a problem,” said board member Don Etheridge.

• Contact reported Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at sarah.day@juneauempire.com.

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