Harbor maintenance is underfunded

Posted: Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Aurora Harbor maintenance staffing is inadequate and under funded to accomplish basic harbor repair and maintenance.

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Many projects for new harbor facilities are in progress for Auke Bay, and the study for a new sub-port harbor is funded.

The mill rate for property tax has been reduced for Juneau, due to a supposed surplus in the budget.

In early December 2005, a harbor maintenance plan was discussed, by the harbor board, apparently without any concrete results.

How is it that there is money for new harbor projects, but not enough for maintenance of current harbor facilities?

Two weeks ago, a short-circuited power line was called to the attention of the Juneau Police Department by a harbor patron, and this was forwarded to the fire department. The fire department responded admirably, by contacting the harbor to have the power cut off to the bad power line.

The harbor patron went down to the Aurora harbormaster's office to get the power line fixed, rather than just being left disconnected and sprawled out onto the walkway.

Management was formally notified of the condition, and nothing has been done as of this writing. An exposed electrical wire still obstructs the walkway at the end of the J float in Aurora Harbor.

There is other maintenance needed on the L float of Aurora Harbor, toward the beginning, with the finger that boats attach to being broken clean in two. The harbormaster has been aware of this for months.

Another pothole and major crumbling of the concrete exists at the end of G float at Aurora Harbor.

As stated before, there are pot holes on the main float of Aurora between J and K floats, that were supposed to be fixed by spring. It is now only a few days before summer, and nothing has even been started.

I realize that the harbor has different funding sources, but effective planning and management would have evenly distributed needed funds.

Nobody's friend or relative gets a big contract for maintenance. Only new construction gets the million-dollar contracts with fat profits.

Is this what Juneau is all about?

Gregory W. Hayes


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