State officials say they’ll withdraw funding for a $15 million Hoonah dock unless the Southeast city changes the facility’s location.
The money was appropriated by the Legislature, in part to support the town’s Icy Strait Point tourist attraction, 40 air miles west of Juneau.
Community and Regional Affairs Director Scott Ruby sent a letter earlier this month threatening to take away the grant. He also put a hold on any project spending.
He says it’s because the cruise industry doesn’t like the dock’s location.
“The primary use was going to be a cruise ship dock. But also, when it’s not being used for a cruise ship dock, it would be constructed such that it could be used for other purposes (such as) freight and ferries and whatever. It’s a multiuse dock,” he says.
Two other proposed locations are acceptable to the industry, as well as Native village corporation Huna Totem, which developed Icy Strait Point.
The state made a similar threat more than a year ago, but the conflict was not resolved.
Sitka’s Bert Stedman represents Hoonah in the Senate. He says local leaders need to decide whether to move ahead.
“I think it’s a good idea for Hoonah to have a dock. But you need to build facilities that will help the industry prosper and move forward with the community,” he says.
Hoonah has about two weeks to respond to the state. Officials will then decide whether to block funding.
The original legislative grant was for $17 million. Lawmakers last spring diverted $2 million to a clinic project approved by Hoonah leaders.
Stedman diverted another $5 million to a swimming pool at the state’s Mount Edgecumbe boarding high school in Sitka. Governor Sean Parnell vetoed that provision, saying the money should stay in Hoonah.
Hear or read an earlier report on the the dock issue: Hoonah dock project sparks controversy.
- The City and Borough of Juneau Lands Committee will discuss a proposal to give Indian Point, also known as Auke Cape, back to the Auk'w Kwaan at its Oct. 23 meeting.
- Jeremie Shaun Tinney, 39, was sentenced to 220 days in prison and fined $3,000 for failing to stop for a peace officer, driving while intoxicated, and assault during the Dec. 3, 2016, incident.
- A lawsuit filed in federal court this week seeks to remove the residency requirement for people gathering signatures for state ballot initiatives.
- For the second time in two years, a Skagway political figure has been ordered to pay a fine for incomplete financial disclosures. Assembly hopeful Dan Henry failed to disclose substantial debt on his candidate paperwork. He will still be able to run for office in the upcoming election.