With DeHart's Marina up for sale, the city has a chance to tie the Auke Bay harbor to a planned commercial fishing loading facility to improve recreational boating, tourism and local business, port engineer Mike Krieber told city planning commissioners Tuesday night.
Krieber explained a plan that could solve some of the problems at the harbor, officially known as the Don Statter Boat Harbor.
The big problem with Statter Harbor is congestion, Krieber said. The harbor is used by commercial fishermen, tour operators, freight haulers and recreational boaters. Krieber described the situation as "gridlock."
The key would be the purchase of the private marina, which has a price tag of $3 million, he explained. DeHart's Marina lies between Statter Harbor and the area planned for the commercial loading facility. The store above the marina would not be included in the purchase, he added.
"This is something to take Juneau 20 years into the future," he said.
With the additional marina space, the harbor would have enough room to keep recreational, tourism and commercial boating separate, he said.
The Auke Bay master plan would provide safe and efficient boat trailer unloading, parking for resident boaters and eliminate problems with roadside parking, Krieber said.
Meanwhile, expanding the commercial loading facility would let commercial fisherman load vehicles directly from their boats, as facilities in places such as Sitka allow.
Some aspects of the plan look at potential, with upland improvements that would tie in a park to the functioning marine center.
Some funds could be raised through revenue bonds to be paid back by harbor user fees.
If the city made the deal this year, work on the Auke Bay plan could begin in the summer of 2005.