The rebuilding of the Sitka Transient Float was underway this spring with hope to complete it by summer. The $5.4 million float provides the harbor system with nearly 1,900 feet of new improved facility, now including 50 amp and 30 amp electrical service. The float is used all year by transient boaters, those on the harbor waiting list and people who have to be moved from other spaces. 

The float employs the same technology as the recently re-vamped ANB Harbor – wooden floats tied to steel pilings and buoyed by foam-filled polyurethane tubs.

“I’d like to attract some of these boats that go to Seattle for the wintertime,” said Sitka Harbormaster Stan Eliason. “They start their season here with sac roe. Then, they go out to the rest of the state. We’d like to catch them on the way back to Washington and give them a home in Sitka.” He said the addition of utilities will help attract these boats.

The next major project – replacing the timber floats on the west side of Crescent Harbor – will depend on the availability of state matching funds, now in question due to the state budget crisis. Eliason said the city will file an application for the $11 million project this summer. By fall, he will know how the project has been ranked against other projects competing for the matching funds.

Other good news for the Harbor Department includes receiving an award from the Alaska Clean Harbors Project. Eliason said Sitka is about the fourth or fifth Alaskan city to receive the award. This means the city is already doing many of the things expected to be mandated by tougher environmental laws in the future.

On a more serious topic, harbor personnel continue to be concerned about intoxicated people falling off the floats and drowning in the harbor. An incident occurred just last summer.

“Watch the overconsumption,” Eliason said. “I don’t want to get called in because we have somebody face down in the harbor. Use the Buddy System. Don’t walk down to your boat alone.”