The Haines Borough Assembly on Tuesday approved adjustments to its 2022 budget, which expires Thursday, due to higher-than-expected fuel and heating costs as well as unusually heavy snowfall last winter that drove up snow removal costs.

Public works expenditures were $84,500 higher than anticipated because of increased motor fuel prices and snow removal expenses.

Utilities were also $60,080 over budget, due mostly to “increased heating costs” – the bulk of which were incurred from March to May, according to borough manager Annette Kreitzer.

“Budgets can be fluid,” Kreitzer said Tuesday. “There are things that happen that are unexpected.”

However, she said, there can also be “unexpected opportunities.” This year, the borough collected $70,000 more than anticipated in dock usage fees from cruise ships stopping at the Port Chilkoot dock. The budget for the fiscal year that ends Thursday had projected $15,000 of revenue in dock fees, but the borough will receive $85,000.

“We knew there would be some revenue there, we just didn’t know the extent,” Kreitzer said. She explained that the borough had been conservative with its predictions when the budget was drafted in 2021.

At that point, a Canadian ban on cruise ships in its ports and traveling its waters — imposed at the beginning of the pandemic — was still in effect. The ban had severely curtailed cruise ship traffic to Alaska because of a U.S. federal law that requires foreign-registered vessels to stop in at least one foreign port between U.S. ports of call.

Congress later passed a temporary waiver, allowing the resumption of limited cruise ship to Alaska for the second half of last summer.