A number of policy changes could rock the 1,200 boats in Juneau's harbors.
The Juneau Docks and Harbors Board proposes concentrating inactive vessels to certain moorage areas within Douglas, Aurora and Harris harbors to better use the city's limited space. The board also plans to reduce shore power fees, increase fines and raise charges to cruise ships.
"We are moving inactive boats to areas in the harbor that are not currently used because these areas are hard to get in and out of," said Port Director John Stone. "Some people think we shouldn't allow that type of moorage. Other people support it. Some people feel we are persecuting them because we are forcing them to move."
Stone said the new regulation will help reduce the long moorage waiting list. About 225 vessels are waiting for a slip.
"The oldest one has been waiting since 1990," Stone said.
Board member Jim Preston said the regulation isn't intended to target people living on their boats.
"We just want to better manage the space available," he said.
To get rid of derelict boats, the board will require owners to provide a copy of their boat insurance, a nonrefundable annual moorage surcharge of $2.50 per foot and a security deposit to cover accidents caused by their boats. Without the insurance and money, boat owners cannot apply for moorage or pay for the annual moorage rate.
"We are trying to make sure we don't have boats in the harbor system that sink and leave all the other harbor users to share the cost," Stone said.
To cover a projected $135,000 shortfall in 2005, the board proposes increasing the cruise vessel lightering fee from $500 to $600 per day, potable water fee from $2.10 to $3.35 per thousand gallons, and loading permit fee from $250 to $300 per company.
The board also will raise the minimum fine from $10 to $25.
The good news for harbor users is that the board plans to decrease the shore power fee. The winter monthly rate for live-aboards would be reduced from $130 to $90 for drawing 30 amps and from $75 to $50 for a non-live-aboard.
The fee change will affect 20 percent of boaters who use an unmetered system through the city. It won't affect boaters who are on a metered electrical system through Alaska Electric Light and Power Co.
The board would reduce the fee to reverse an earlier unpopular decision to rebuild the shore power structure by raising electrical fees.
The board will hold several public hearings on the new regulations through Dec. 2.
I-Chun Che can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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