Dillingham harbor fees going up this year

Apr 25, 2017

32' fishing boat season tag going up from $280 to $320, and set net skiffs 20' and longer will start at $100, as city looks for revenue to deal with deficit.

The new harbor tariffs adopted by the city council in April.
Credit KDLG

KDLG: The city council recently adopted recommendations from the port advisory committee to increase the fees paid by fishermen who use the harbor. Two years ago the city upped most of its port fees by 20 percent across the board, but went easier on the commercial fishing boat tariffs.

“In 2014, the price for a 32’ boat was $260. It went up to $280, so it was only a $20 increase, instead of a 20 percent,” Port Director Jean Barrett said. “So this year we added another 14 percent on top of that, bringing it up to $320 per vessel, which is basically $10 a foot.”

Other tariffs were increased as well, including the daily rate for Bristol Bay drift boats from $45 to $75. Barrett said the idea is to encourage the purchase of the season sticker to avoid the confusion and hassle of trying to document which vessels used the harbor and for how many days.

Set net skiffs over 20’ will now be charged $100 plus $4 per each extra foot, up from $80. 

The increases are one way the City of Dillingham is looking to raise revenues to cover its high seasonal expenses since the state’s Local Boundary Commission derailed the effort to collect a 2.5 percent raw fish tax from the Nushagak District catch. The harbor trash bill alone costs the city $12,000 each summer, according to Barrett. The increases had the support of all council members, and all but one member of the port advisory committee.