The City and Borough of Juneau could be nearing the end of a stay of action in its legal battle with the cruise industry, and is financially preparing for negotiations to restart.
The CBJ Assembly approved an ordinance Monday night that appropriates $100,000 to City Attorney Amy Mead for legal expenses. This money comes from the sales tax fund’s balance in the 2017 fiscal year budget. Mead said the money is being put aside mostly if outside counsel is needed in the case, and that the money does not go to her.
“We need to have money to pay attorneys if attorneys need to get involved,” Mead said. “So if we do successfully negotiate a settlement, there will be some settlement documents that need to get drafted.”
In April 2016, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) filed a lawsuit against the city asserting that the city misused money from a “head tax,” a tax that gives Juneau $8 for every cruise passenger. Finance Director Bob Bartholomew said that CBJ has already spent $283,000 through the end of February on the lawsuit.