Wharfage Fees Could Drop at Carl E. Moses Harbor

Tuesday, March 11 2014

Vessels at the Carl E. Moses Small Boat Harbor might see a big drop in the charge for on- and off-loading cargo at the harbor’s drive-down float if city council approves changes to the fee schedule.

An ordinance amending the fees is up for a first reading at tonight’s council meeting.

Ports Director Peggy McLaughlin says in her memo to council that the current wharfage fees are unreasonably high for how the drive-down float is being used. Right now, vessels have to pay either $4.60 per ton of cargo that they’re loading at the float, or $218.70, which equates to about 47 tons. That’s the minimum wharfage charge at the city dock. Vessels pay whichever amount is higher.

But McLaughlin says the Carl E. Moses drive-down float isn’t equipped for large industrial usage like the city dock is. In fact, the Carl E. Moses drive-down float crane only lifts 2,500 pounds, and McLaughlin says the maximum load they’ve seen there is seven tons.

So she says the fees should change to reflect a lower level of use. The proposed change would mean vessels pay to use the float on a per-ton basis. McLaughlin says this wouldn’t have a big impact on revenues at the harbor, but it would make the harbor a better option for more vessels.

Also tonight, city council will vote to approve a 50-year tidelands lease to the Ounalashka Corporation. The three-acre parcel OC wants to rent is on the back side of Little South America. OC hopes to build a new marine facility on the property. Their annual rent for the parcel would be just under $5,000, equal to the required 10 percent of the tidelands’ total value.

Council is expected to approve a city surplus personal property sale at tonight's meeting. Sales like this take place on a semi-annual basis, whenever the city has accumulated enough surplus property that they need to clean some of it out. This sale would take place as a public auction on April 5, 2014. The property list includes less than $25,000 worth of office supplies, electronics and recreation items, plus a couple of vehicles.

Council will also take up a few budget items tonight. They’ll hold a public hearing and vote on adding a $3 million state grant to the budget for the water treatment facility. They’ll also vote on allocating more funds for the powerhouse and the Summer Bay Road replacement projects. They’ll have to approve the addition of Biorka Drive to this year’s paving project. And they’ll award a contract to replace the school’s master clock and P.A. system.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

a wanderer... on Tuesday, March 11 2014:

What is considered the "backside of LSA" - the Hog Island side? What kind of new marine facility is OC planning on building there?

Garbage in... on Tuesday, March 11 2014:

If the drive down dock is so underutilized, was it still a sound investment? And will the remaining port fees increase when the sheets are adjusted to reflect the lower projected revenue from the drive down dock?

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