Lutak Dock. (R&M Consultants)

Lutak Dock. (R&M Consultants)

The Haines Borough is going to see if a scaled-back design helps raise money to renovate Lutak Dock.

The dock is the community’s entry point for freight and fuel. According to engineers, it’s living on borrowed time.

Haines contracted with an engineering firm to draw up options to replace or repair the dock.

The option preferred by the planning commission and port and harbor committee was price-tagged at about $37 million. It involves encapsulating the existing cells that support the structure.

Borough manager Debra Schnabel said a federal funding application for Lutak was rejected.

She said the feds are more likely to approve a request if the applicant has match money in hand.

“We believe that if we stay with the larger project of $37 million, our chances of being able to generate the funding to be competitive with the match will not be achievable for us,” Schnabel said.

Schnabel said it’s the borough staff’s recommendation the assembly lower its sights to the least expensive design.

That option would replace the current dock with berthing dolphins, similar to the neighboring ferry terminal. It’s still a pricey prospect, at $21 million.

Schnabel asked for the assembly’s permission to request between $8 and $10 million in state funding. The money she plans to aim for was previously earmarked for the now-defunct Juneau Access Project. About $20 million was recently re-appropriated for the general purpose of Lynn Canal transportation and infrastructure projects.

The assembly gave Schnabel the green light to pursue state funding for the less expensive dock design.

Schnabel says she will check in with the planning commission and port and harbor advisory committee. She says she’s already heard concerns about the dolphin design’s impact on dock storage space.