Support harbor improvements

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I would like to raise my voice in support of the harbormaster's office in their efforts to renovate and improve the facilities here in Juneau. As a longtime sailor, now live-aboard, I would also like to remind everyone to take a deep breath and do a reality check. Whatever disruption and rate increases we may experience due to the gangway repair and reconfiguration of the electrical system are a necessary part of much-needed, long overdue repairs and improvements. (The electrical system is apparently in a somewhat hazardous condition.)

Increases in Juneau's harbor rates reflect both current and future improvements, as well as financial realities; our rates are still some of the lowest on the West Coast, and the increases are minor. The change in electrical billing is due to the need to reconfigure the delivery system - not an attempt to maximize revenue. The harbor office has also received a better bulk rate that will provide electricity at an overall lower cost. The switch away from individually metered billing is also driven by the eventual need to replace the wiring and pedestals on all the floats. If the flat rates discourage conservation and encourage some to excessive use, while others pay too much for minimal use, this should become apparent and lead to adjustments.

Raising your voice when City Hall is doing something wrong is OK, but we don't need a "tempest in a teapot;" we are only talking about an electric bill. Show me some serious injustice and maybe I'll get irate. Meanwhile, it's summer, and boats are supposed to be fun; so let's get back to it and let the harbor master do what he has to do.

Damon Cruz


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