PRAC to take up possible fishermen’s memorial move

The public can weigh in on a possible move of the Alaska Commercial Fishermen’s Memorial to Marine Park at a meeting of Juneau’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee tomorrow night (Tuesday).

The board of the Alaska Fishermen's Memorial in Juneau wants the monument to move if a new cruise ship dock is built in front of it. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO)

The memorial’s board of directors has asked the city’s Docks and Harbors Department to leave the monument where it is near Taku Smokeries, and not to build a planned cruise ship dock in front of it. But if the dock project goes forward, the memorial board says its preferred location is Marine Park.

Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee Chair Jeff Wilson says Marine Park is “the people’s park” and he wants to hear from the public about the proposed move.

“I just want to get some input from the users of that park of what they want to see in that park and whether the fishermen’s memorial really is the best place to be in Marine Park,” Wilson says.

He says the PRAC will likely make a recommendation to the Docks and Harbors Board at the end of the meeting. Docks and Harbors will use the input to decide whether the memorial should move, and take it to the CBJ Assembly for approval.

At last week’s assembly meeting, Assemblyman Johan Dybdahl expressed frustration at the assembly’s lack of involvement to this point.

“You know, I would have like to hear from all those people who have people on that memorial, and I don’t believe most of them support moving it at all,” Dybdahl said. “So, I was hoping that there would be sometime that the assembly would be able to weigh in and become a part of the decision process.”

Many family members of people whose names are on the fishermen's memorial don't want it to move. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO)

The assembly approved the dock expansion project without considering its impact on the memorial or the annual Blessing of the Fleet held there. The project budget includes up to 2-million dollars for the potential move. The actual cost isn’t known until a site is chosen.

Tomorrow night’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee meeting starts at 6 p.m. in City Hall Assembly Chambers.