Assembly moves forward with UAS dock purchase

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – With looming increases to leasing costs, the Juneau Assembly has decided to fund the majority of the purchase of the Fisheries Terminal from the University of Alaska Southeast.

    The total cost is $2,880,000.  $2,000,000 would come from CBJ general funds while $880,000 would be funded by the Harbors Fund and appropriated once an available fund source has been determined. Former Assemblymember Loren Jones said during public testimony that he supports using only general funds for the purchase. "I don't think docks and harbors or especially harbors has a fund balance sufficient to do this," he said.
    Assemblymember Michelle Hale agreed with Jones and proposed that the city pay for the purchase in full. Assemblymember Greg Smith objected, saying that question never has been that they do not buy the property, but rather how best the city use their financial reserves for the many needs of the city, "At finance we got to this amount, I think it's a good balance." The proposal to have the city pay the purchase in full failed 4-5, so the ordinance as originally proposed was approved unanimously.
    The body took up an ordinance appropriating $5,500,000 of general funds for the Seawalk and Statter Harbor Phase IIIC capital improvement projects. $3,000,000 would go to the Statter Harbor and $2,500,000 to the Seawalk. It was approved with no objection.
    An appropriation providing $570,000 towards expanded mobile integrated health services was approved. $540,000 would go to the Southern Region EMS Council, Inc. The council is providing American Rescue Plan Act funds from the State of Alaska to contract CBJ to perform mobile integrated health services in the community. $30,000 goes towards a grant for Juneau Community Foundation, who is providing grant funding from Norwegian Cruise Lines for a community paramedic vehicle in support of the expanded services.
    A $150,000 grant to the Juneau Community Foundation was approved. It would support sheltering operations at the Glory Hall. Mayor Beth Weldon noted that last year the assembly said it was one time funding, and said she is supporting the funding this time as one time funding.
    The ordinance requiring the collection of sales tax on the sales of goods and services on board cruise vessels while in the Gastineau Channel was approved with no objection. Sales that occur inside the borough boundary but outside the channel would remain exempt.
    The Assembly heard a report on the successful initial accreditation of the Juneau Police Department by the Oregon Accreditation Alliance. Alliance Executive Director Scott Hayes said it is a substantial step for any agency to be evaluated by an outside independent organization and have their policies, procedures, and practices scrutinized. He said there are 105 standards that the agency must adhere to become accredited. JPD is the second department in the state, along with Soldotna, to receive the accreditation.

    Members also commented that Juneau Police Chief Ed Mercer received an award from the Alaska Federation of Natives in recognition of his public service.

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