A federal judge has rejected the cruise industry’s motion to specify how Juneau can spend revenue earned from its $8 per passenger fees.
The final judgment opens an avenue for either party to appeal. City Manager Rorie Watt said the Juneau Assembly hasn’t made up its mind yet.
“This appears to be a workable ruling from the judge that we think the parties can manage within the constraints that he’s imposed, and we can do it productively,” Watt said. “I think the question is, does CLIAA want to join us in that approach?”
The city uses the fees for projects like building bigger docks for cruise ships, but it also spends them on things like public bathrooms, sidewalks and crossing guards around the downtown cruise ship wharf.
Sidewalk maintenance and crossing guards are two things Holland specifically said would not be a constitutional expenditure of the fees in the December order.
Cruise industry attorney Jonathan Benner said the final judgement makes it clear that the court expects the city to be careful with it how it spends fees going forward.
“We are hopeful that proves to be the case, and we look forward to a period of productive cooperation with the city on these issues,” Benner said.
Holland also declined to address the state’s passenger fee in his judgment, writing that it was not relevant to the case as presented by both parties.
- The rising water level will bring more debris and much colder water. "So, if you were to perhaps fall in the river, there would be more risk of hypothermia," said Nicole Ferrin of the National Weather Service.
- Gov. Mike Dunleavy says the Alaska Federation of Natives hasn’t offered a valid solution to the fiscal crisis. He wants to know AFN’s plans to fight sexual assaults and educational woes in Native communities.
- The Yukon’s Minto Mine is expected to resume ore production in the near future. That means that Skagway’s ore terminal may begin loading ships with ore after months of inactivity. However, this may complicate the other needs of Skagway’s port.
- Opponents of the Pebble Mine are doing all they can to get Sen. Lisa Murkowski on their side. But Murkowski is not ready to make a declaration about the mine, for or against.