The Latest: City denies misusing cruise ship visitor fees

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on a lawsuit over Juneau's usage of fees collected from the cruise industry (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Juneau city administrators say they're surprised by a lawsuit from the cruise industry and deny allegations of misuse of fees paid by visitors who arrive in the Alaska city via cruise ship.

The Cruise Lines International Association and its Alaska affiliate filed a lawsuit against the city and borough of Juneau on Tuesday. The suit challenges the legality of the city's use of a $5 per-passenger fee it collects from the nearly 1 million cruise ship passengers who visit annually.

City Manager Kim Kiefer says the city has a public process for use of the funds and is working to create a welcoming community.

The lawsuit seeks to prove portions of the $35 million collected from cruise ships in the past four years were spent on projects that violate federal guidelines.

Listed among the association's complaints are plans for a nearly 50-foot whale sculpture.