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Jakalof Bay Dock Requires Replacement

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Seldovia Wild
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The City of Seldovia is seeking comment regarding the deteriorating Jakalof Bay Dock.

Back in 2008, the State of Alaska transferred ownership of the Jakolof Bay Dock to the City of Seldovia. The dock, built in 1977, is a major point of entry across Kachemak Bay, used by emergency services, utility workers, berry pickers, hikers, campers, residents and mariners seeking safe harbor.

It’s located on the southern side of Kachemak Bay on the Kenai Peninsula, about 13 miles south of Homer, Alaska and 6.5 miles east-northeast of Seldovia.

The condition of the dock is now deteriorated to the point where vessel size is now limited to 27 feet and shorter. And, the City now asks regular users to sign a hold harmless agreement in case the dock fails structurally.

Seldovia City Manager Rachel Friedlander says the City has a public meeting planned for Monday, March 7. Seldovia, she says, is calling together user groups in hopes of finding partners and solutions.

Looking for how people use the dock. How would removal of it impact you if it was either temporary or permanent? This is a City of Seldovia asset and so the burden of financing it currently is on the City of Seldovia residents. But how can we involve all users of the dock, because, currently no one pays to use it, and that may need to change in the future,” Friedlander said.

Seldovia has about $150,000 in a maintenance fund for the dock but that amount will only begin to address the repairs needed as determined by Turnagain Marine Construction. The City hired the company to make an assessment and recommend repairs in 2021. According to their assessment, retrofitting and repairs won’t get the job done. With floatation and pilings compromised, a full replacement is recommended in the next 3 years with an estimated cost of 1.5 million dollars.

Jeremiah Campbell, the Mayor of Seldovia, says a city the size of fewer than 300 people just doesn’t have the revenue sources to fund the rebuild on its own.

“You know with the money we have we can do minimal repairs but to start addressing floatation and any kind of significant repairs, we’re going to need a lot more funding to deal with that,” Campbell said.

The City of Seldovia is hoping to garner some of the infrastructure funding becoming available in Alaska right now, Seldovia City Council recently approved seeking a federal RAISE grant. Friedlander says, that stands for Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity. And while they hope to take advantage of those funds, she says, there is no substitute for input and ideas from the people who use the dock.

“Maybe there is someone out there who would like to partner with the city, or they have a business proposal or something that we’re just not seeing. That feedback would be so helpful because we’re open to any and all suggestions for how to approach this situation,” Friedlander said.

That’s Rachel Friedlander, Seldovia City Manager.

Written comments and suggestions can be submitted in advance and the public meeting on Monday, March 7 at 6 is accessible by Zoom link or in person, in Seldovia at 260 Seldovia Street.

You can find links to the meeting, a report on the condition of the Jakolof Bay Dock and an address for submitting public comment in advance on the City of Seldovia website.

Link to public meeting:

https://www.cityofseldovia.com/virtual-meetings-information-page.

Link to Jakalof Dock info pkt:

https://cityofseldovia.com/jakolof-bay-dock