Downtown businessman concerned about crime

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) $12,000 in property damage done by a vandal Sunday was enough to get the attention of downtown businesses.

    Patrick Grace appeared before the CBJ Assembly meeting last night and said he is concerned about the increase in crime downtown.

    He said a lot of businessmen are really concerned about security cameras and door locks due to an up tick in thefts and other crimes
    downtown.  "There was a church robbed on Easter, people don't let their kids play in certain areas.  It is a little disheartening to me and to people I know.  I worry both about our approach to crime in this community and the actual crime in this community."

    Mr. Grace said a lot has changed in recent years when it comes to crime. "I feel like there is an abundance of crime downtown.  I grew up in Juneau, we never locked our doors.  I lived downtown in an apartment on South Franklin Street, we left the door unlocked from 2002-2006.  Now I'm trying to figure out how to bolt our doors, put up cameras and put up sound alarms.  It just seems a bit futile and a lot of business owners are feeling the same kind of stress."

    City staff including the Police Department and business owners could meet this month to discuss strategies before the cruise ship season begins April 30th.

    In other actions the CBJ Assembly last night

    -approved $200,000 for professional services to address downtown waterfront improvements.

    -approved a resolution to ratify a tentative agreement with the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association adding two percent
    to their salaries, a total cost of $763,000.

    -allocated $800,000 from the Alaska department of transportation and public facilities to use for construction of the valley
    transit center.

    -approved $700,000 for partial funding for the Rainforest Recovery Center Detox Addition capital project.

    -approved $1.8 million in city funds for the passenger boarding bridge capital improvement project.  A federal aviation grant is pending
    and will reimburse the borough.

    -Amy Skilbred of the Juneau Community foundation presented a check for $235,000 to the Assembly for project playground.
    She says it has been a successful campaign to raise donations.  They are continuing to collect donations. 

    Work on the playground is expected to be completed in August.

    In other actions the Assembly agreed to let the manager work with the original applicant Vertical Bridge on a lease to allow a
    cell phone tower at Lena Point.

    Agreed to set an April 30th public hearing to possibly reconsider a planning commission decision to deny a request to rezone
    seven lots in Auke Bay to light commercial.


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