I agree with Howard Rider (Empire, May 24) regarding the increase in harbor fees. All other recreational pursuits in Juneau are subsidized by the city, so why should boating be treated differently? Boaters, in fact, add much more to the local economy. They support a myriad of shoreside facilities, welding shops, mechanics, boat builders and brokers, marine haulout services, fuel providers, hardware, fishing gear and electronic stores, to name just a few. All of these businesses employ people and pay taxes to the city.
When the city compares our moorage fees to those in Seattle and elsewhere it's like comparing apples to oranges. You must also compare services provided the boaters.
Raising moorage fees 90 percent over three years is excessive. And there is no guarantee it will stop there. The Docks and Harbors Board originally proposed a 300 percent increase over five years. The Assembly moderated that recommendation, waiting to see if the state kicks in some more money toward harbor maintenance.
We are willing to pay our fair share, but let's not expect the boating community to make the harbors self-supporting.
Rudy J. Ripley
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