The Chilkoot Indian Association finalized its purchase Tuesday of the former Chilkat Cruises dock from Klukwan Inc.

CIA has been waiting since October for approval from the Federal Highway Administration to use the agency’s tribal transportation funding to buy the dock in Portage Cove. It first had to be registered in the Federal Transportation Inventory—a list of all the roads tribal members use in Haines, CIA tribal administrator Harriet Brouillette said.

“We got it in and once it was in we had to have the purchase approved by the federal transportation office,” Brouillette said. “The regional office had to approve the purchase because it’s such a large sum of money we were using to make the purchase. As soon as (the administrator) said ‘yes’ we transferred the money from our accounts and signed on the dotted line.”

CIA secured a bank loan to purchase the dock, FHA spokesperson Doug Hecox said, and will use the FHA funding to pay the loan back over 10 years. The FHA tribal transportation program funding for CIA this fiscal year is projected at just more than $1 million, Hecox said.

Brouillette wouldn’t comment on the cost, but the land is valued at $51,100 and the infrastructure at $664,400, according to Haines Borough records.

CIA wants to use the dock to moor private boats this summer. First the tribe has to make engineer-recommended safety repairs.

“It’s been sitting there not loved for so long that we just want to make sure it’s safe,” Brouillette said. “We’re going to start working on the float and the decking, making sure it’s safe. We have to replace one of the piles. We’ll probably be doing that this spring.”

In total, the five-year repair schedule is estimated at more than the purchase price, Brouillette said.

Moorage rates will be comparable to what the borough charges, Brouillette said. The borough charges $3.99 a foot every 24 hours with a minimum charge of $80.

Brouillette said CIA, along with other tribes in Southeast Alaska, is lobbying for more federal funding for water transportation projects. When distributing funding, the federal transportation agency counts only road miles CIA has in its inventory.

“Our big argument is that our tribe has always been a water- faring tribe,” Brouillette said. “We always travelled by water. All of southeast Alaska does that because we live on the water. We’re trying to get them to count our miles between the communities by water so we perhaps can help to improve the ferry system, the water transportation between our communities.”

Hecox said FHA has used transportation for ferries in the past and they are open to good ideas.

Klukwan Inc. used the dock in the past for catamaran tours. Klukwan Inc. representatives did not respond for comments by press time.