It is important to get the word out that the City and Borough of Juneau Docks and Harbor Board is considering raising small boat harbor slip fees by as much as 38 percent.
This increase is a result in a change in the formula for determining the fee a harbor patron will pay for the actual size of the boat, plus a $100-per-year "maintenance and repair" fee. For instance, my slip fee is currently $653 per year. If the board approves the fee increase, my slip fee will be $786 plus the $100 annual maintenance fee, equaling $886 per year. This is a 35 percent increase. This does not include the 5 percent city sales tax that is assessed on the slip fee.
According to the public notice released on Jan. 30, the board is proposing "a new formula for calculating annual moorage; some vessels will see increases and others will see decreases." The proposed draft fee schedule shows that four boat sizes (16, 17, 24 and 57 feet) will see fee decreases; one boat size (60 feet) will remain the same; the rest (18 to 23 feet; 25 to 52 feet; and 63 to 65 feet) will see fee increases. Perhaps the public notice should read that "most vessels will see increases and few will see decreases."
Slip fee increases are probably a necessity, but these increases should occur over a period of years. Raising slip fees by as much as 38 percent at one time might be an indication that something is amiss at the CBJ Docks and Harbors Department.
Interested people should attend the CBJ Docks and Harbor Board meeting Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at the CBJ Assembly Chambers.