Officials seek input on Statter expansion

Harbor gets use from tour operations, commercial fishermen, freight haulers and recreational boaters

Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Juneau port officials say an expanded Don Statter Small Boat Harbor would have something for everyone.

If the Assembly approves the acquisition of DeHarts Marina, the Docks and Harbors Department can combine Statter with DeHarts facilities and turn them into a regional recreational center with restaurants, parks, a new boat launch and a tour bus staging area.

On Monday, the Docks and Harbors Department revealed its master plan on Statter to the Assembly Lands Committee and the Public Works and Facilities Committee.

Port Engineer Mike Krieber said Statter harbor is used by commercial fishermen, tour operations, freight haulers and recreational boaters.

"Such multiple uses in this small area result in harbor and parking lot gridlock, creating safety problems, economic disincentives and discontent of residents," Krieber said.

Krieber said expanding Statter harbor would solve the problems of overflow parking and tourist congestion.

The total cost of the project is about $21 million.

Krieber said the Docks and Harbors Department expects to get some funding from the state and some from the revenues of the city's optional 1 percent sales tax. The Docks and Harbors Department would also consider issuing revenue bonds to pay for new floats.

A steering committee was formed in early May to work on the master plan. The committee included representatives from tour bus operators, and staff members from the city Parks and Recreation Department and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Although the committee tried to include agencies that will be involved in the reconstruction, Assembly member Stan Ridgeway said the committee didn't include such users as fishermen.

Assembly member Merrill Sanford said he is interested in more public comment.

Krieber said the public will have opportunities to comment on the plan. The Docks and Harbors Department will hold its first open house on the master plan Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Auke Bay Elementary School.

• I-Chun Che can be reached at ichun.che@juneauempire.com.



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