Boat owners face bigger fees under new proposal

New base rate would be $400 for all boats plus $100 maintenance fee

Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2004

Boat owners would pay more to dock their vessels at the city's harbors under a new Juneau Docks and Harbors Board proposal.

The board is collecting public comments on proposed changes that could cost the owners of larger boats hundreds of dollars a year. The board expects to make a decision at a public hearing 7 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Juneau Assembly chambers, Port Director John Stone said.

The current base rate for boats 24 feet and longer is $520 per slip, while space for shorter boats is as little as $350 for a skiff. The new base would be $400 for all boats plus a new $100 fee dedicated to maintenance and repair of Harris, Aurora and Douglas harbors.

The board then would change the calculation for additional fees based on the area occupied, leading to substantial increases for larger boats. The owner of an 18-foot boat would pay just $4 more than currently, while it would cost $687 more for a 107-foot boat.

Juneau Liveaboard Association endorses the changes because they would mean infrastructure improvements to the harbors, spokesman Brad Scougale said. Most association members at a meeting last week endorsed the changes, he said.

"The majority feels that if we keep this as friendly and cooperative as we can, we'll come out ahead," Scougale said.

Many association members have known for about two years that the city planned to recalculate the moorage rates, said Scougale, who would pay $3.75 more a year under the proposal.

The board is proposing other fee changes as well:

• A new potable water fee for cruise ships, rising from $1.75 per 1,000 gallons to $2.10 per 1,000 gallons.

• A fee ranging from $15 to $150 per commercial recreational vessel, depending on size and frequency of use. Large vessels would pay an additional fee based on the number of Coast Guard-authorized seats.

• New electricity rates for summer and winter, with higher rates for live-aboard boats. The cost range for live-aboards would remain $50-$150 in summer and rise to $85-$200 in winter. Owners not living on their boats would pay $55-$150 in winter and $30-$100 in summer.

• A $10 increase in the boat ramp fee after the first hour of use, to $40 per hour.

• An increase in moorage fees at Intermediate Vessel Float from 70 cents to $2 per foot per day for pleasure and charter boats and from 35 cents to $1 per foot per day for commercial fishing vessels. Fishermen loading and unloading products for Taku Smokeries would get free standby time.

• An extended winter grace period at Intermediate Vessel Float and Statter Harbor allowing those who pay an annual moorage fee to dock transient boats from October until April instead of March.

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