Feds award city grant to protect cruise ships

Port director envisions constructing $94,000 barrier at parking garage

Posted: Friday, December 19, 2003

The city is receiving a $94,000 federal grant to prevent terrorist attacks on cruise ships, Port Director John Stone said.

The money from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be used to build a barrier in the open sides of the downtown parking garage to prevent someone from jumping through to the dock, Stone said. He said the security measure may also ward off smuggling.

He envisions the barrier being a screen that would allow light, require low maintenance and be aesthetically pleasing.

The grant is a precautionary measure in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., Stone said.

Stone applied for the money under The Port Security Grant Program last summer to meet the federal government's new security requirements, he said.

The $94,000 is part of $758,569 in grants to provide for more secure ports in the state, said Congressman Don Young, an Alaska Republican, in a prepared statement. He said the money provides resources for security planning and projects to improving dockside and perimeter security vital to securing national seaports.

The $94,000 is one element among a broad set of measures Juneau has taken to prevent terrorist attacks on cruise ships, Stone said.

Stone expects to receive the money in early 2004, at which time the Docks and Harbors Board can appropriate the money. The barrier is scheduled to be in place next fall.

The Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration evaluated the port security grant applications and selected the recipients. Stone said he originally applied for $120,000.

• Tara Sidor can be reached at tara.sidor@juneauempire.com.

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