marine service center

Wrangell’s Marine Service Center. (Katarina Sostaric/KSTK)

The Wrangell Port Commission Tuesday continued discussing a possible rate increase for work space in the Marine Service Center.

The increased rates could help hire an additional boat lift operator to make the boat haul-out schedule more flexible.

Commissioner John Yeager said he would like to see an extra employee if that means the harbor department would offer expanded hours for hauling boats.

“I think if we’re going to justify the expense that’s going to get handed down through the rates, I don’t know that that increase would be enough to deter people from coming here to do these projects, if, in return, they’re seeing more efficiency out of that yard and more opportunity to move boats,” Yeager said.

Higher rates could also give boat owners an incentive to get their work done faster.

Harbormaster Greg Meissner said that would help more boats get in and out of the service center.

“The small rate is so small, they’re comfortable taking a one-month job and making it a three-month job. That has been a problem,” Meissner said. “That makes it hard to schedule boats in and out, too, when you can’t get something back in the water.”

Commissioners also continued talking to Meyers Chuck residents about enacting moorage fees for the community’s dock that’s now owned by Wrangell.

At last month’s meeting, several Meyers Chuck residents were opposed to moorage fees of any kind. Meissner told them they need the revenue for a new dock, even though it will not come close to covering the $1.4 million needed for the project.

Commissioners expressed the need for a reliable system for getting the fees to Wrangell.

Meissner said Meyers Chuck residents need to designate a person to collect the moorage fees each night during the summer.

“Most of it will take care of itself, I think. But having somebody there who’s there every day to do it, and then send that down with the mail once a week? That would work for me,” Meissner said.

The Meyers Chuck residents who called in to the meeting said they would take up the issue with their homeowners’ association.

Rate changes for Wrangell and Meyers Chuck would take effect July 1.