Juneau leaders reject $2 million cruise company donation
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Juneau city leaders have declined a $2 million donation from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. amid concerns from some Assembly members about the public perception of accepting the money.
The company, which operates Norwegian Cruise Line, last month announced plans to donate $10 million total to Alaska port communities with tourist economies hit hard by the lack of cruise ship passengers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company has purchased an empty waterfront lot in Juneau, where it wants to build a dock, KTOO Public Media reported.
City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Member Carole Triem cited the proposed dock as factoring heavily in her decision to vote against accepting the money.
“I just think that to accept money from NCL, even though it’s totally separate from the decisions we’d be making about this development project just is not a good look for us,” she said.
Assembly member Wade Bryson said the path for the company getting a dock is already charted out. He said rejecting the donation would be “foolish and fiscally irresponsible.”
The Assembly asked the city manager to suggest to the company donating the $2 million directly to an organization instead of the city.