When the Sitka Assembly meets tonight (7-13-21), it will consider a grassroots proposal to build a marine haulout at the Gary Paxton Industrial Park.
The ‘Sitka Community Boatyard’ is a new entity, established by the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust and Sitka Custom Marine, and a coalition of local fishermen. They’re seeking a 50-year long-term lease of around 7 acres of property at the Park. The group projects a $2.9 million startup cost, and plans to construct the facility in phases to eventually include a 150-ton travelift and environmentally-safe washdown pad.
In 2019, the community’s lone private boatyard, Halibut Point Marine, announced that it would close down in the near future to focus on further development of its cruise ship port. Since then, the city has struggled to find someone to build and operate a haulout on public property.
The Gary Paxton Industrial Park Board approved the proposal for Assembly review last month. The Assembly will discuss the proposal, and could decide to draw up a lease or ask for changes to its terms.
In other business, the Assembly will consider a proposal to put a 5 percent retail tax on marijuana on the municipal ballot this fall. A ballot proposition that would tax motor fuel by 3 cents a gallon will be dropped from the agenda.
The Sitka Assembly meets tonight at 5 p.m. for a work session with the city’s solid waste shipping contractor, Republic Services. Raven Radio will broadcast the regular meeting live at 6, following Alaska News Nightly.