Amended version of gondola ski purchase approved on narrow 5 to 4 Assembly vote

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Assembly Monday night approved a $2 Million appropriation to purchase a gondola ski lift for the Eaglecrest Ski Area, but it was amended.

    Deputy Mayor Maria Gladziszewski's amendment said the gondola could not be transported from Austria to Juneau without first obtaining Assembly approval.  The amendment was approved on a narrow on a 5 to 4 vote.

    Eaglecrest Manager Dave Scanlan told the Assembly that the target date for shipment is somewhere between May 20 to June 1.  It would either have to be shipped here or put in storage in Croatia.  Scanlon plans to visit Austria to inspect the ski lift in April

    The full motion was also approved on a 5 to 4 vote.  Voting yes were Gladziszewski, Wade Bryson, Greg Smith, Michelle Bonnet Hale, and Mayor Beth Weldon.  Casting no votes were Carole Triem, Alicia Hughes, Skandijs, Christine Woll, and Waahlaal Giidaak

    The Assembly heard from 15 citizens during testimony with the comments pretty evenly split between support and opposition.

    Eaglecrest has vowed to pay the appropriation back over the span of five years.  The aerial mountain lift could not be installed until Eaglecrest secured additional funding for installation which is estimated to be $6.2 Million.

    Scanlan has said that the gondola would help the ski area become self-sustaining and end its requests for annual appropriations from the Assembly.

    Members okayed a $25,000 appropriation from the general fund to the Sealaska Heritage Institute for the 2022 Celebration scheduled for early June.

    The Assembly signed off on the use of $20 Million in bond proceeds for the planning, design, and construction for an addition to the Emergency Department and the Crisis Stabilization Center at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

    The body took up a resolution repealing and reestablishing the Assembly's rules of procedure.  There was what was dubbed as "Zoom Bombing" going on.  Manager Rorie Watt wrote in his report to the Assembly that because of the anonymity of Zoom,  people were disrupting a meeting with pornography, sexual harassment, and irrelevant comments.

    Under terms of the resolution people testifying via zoom must sign up 24 hours in advance.  

    The resolution was approved on an 8 to 1 vote with Greg Smith voting no.

    The Assembly voted to fine-tune an ordinance initially approved in 2020 that requires buyers to disclose property sale information to the Assessor. Since there's been difficulty in obtaining this information, there's a provision calling for a penalty of $50 per day if a property sale disclosure is not provided within 90 days.  The ordinance also calls for the repeal of the confidentiality provision.

    Members signed off on regulations approved by the Docks and Harbors Board of Directors relating to increases in the fees the department charges for services.

    The Assembly brought up an ordinance amending the Long Range Waterfront Plan to allow for the creation of a cruise ship dock facility at the Subport in Downtown Juneau.  There was only one person offering testimony in support.   The measure will be up for action and another public hearing during the Assembly's regular meeting on March 14.

    Two measures dealing with parking downtown were referred to the Committee of the Whole, according to the mayor.



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