Fire Department study tops Assembly agenda

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Assembly will see an ordinance for introduction at this evening's regular meeting that addresses the need for additional staff for Capital City Fire Rescue.

    City Manager Rorie Watt said on Action Line Friday that they knew there was a need.  The question now he said is how exactly they should move forward.  He said they want to move quickly so they can provide  relief to fire fighters.  That's way they are also forwarding a funding request to the Assembly along with the study report.

    The request is to add a 12 hour ambulance crew, but fire department staff is suggesting tha a 24 hour model would be better. So Watt said they're looking at that and trying to figure out what would be the best recommendation for the Assembly.  

    The ordinance includes a supplemental appropriation of $350,000 from the general fund's fund balance.

    Proposed changes to the CBJ Mining Code is the subject of another ordinance up for introduction.  Watt said the revisions clarify the code and makes it easier to understand and easier to manage.  "So its more of a clarification, but the substantive provisions don't change, he said.

    It would come back for public hearing and final action next month, Watt said, unless the body decides to send it back to committee for additional work.

    The sales tax code would be amended under terms of another ordinance up for introduction relating to transportation network companies like Urber and Lyft.  Legislation amending state statute was pushed through last session which allows municipalities to collect sales tax.  After hearing from the companies, Watt said they will delay final Assembly action under September.

    Watt wasn't sure if operators now working in town are paying sales tax. Watt said what is really important is that the companies be on even footing with the taxi  cab companies.  He said the cab  companies follow the rules and pay their sales tax so  the city needs to make sure they provide a level playing field.

    There are two resolutions on the agenda calling for Assembly approval of tentative contact agreements with the Public Safety Employees Association representing police officers and the International Association of Fire Fighters.  

    Watt said the agreements would cost taxpayers nearly one half million dollars.

    Two measures up for introduction could end up on the October 3 local election ballot for voter approval.  One increases the hotel-motel tax by two percent would fund improvements at Centennial Hall and help build a new arts and cultural center.  The other measure would call for voter approval of general obligation bonds not to exceed $12 Million to partially fund the arts and cultural center.

    The Assembly Finance Committee will deal with those measures during its meeting Wednesday as well as the Best Starts Child Care and Early Education proposal which may also go to the voters for approval.

     An ordinance up for action calls for an appropriation of $40,000 to allow the auto shop program at Juneau Douglas High School to continue.

    Another ordinance up for action earmarks a $53,000 contribution from the Treadwell Historic Preservation and Restoration Society  to paint the interior and exterior of the structure known as the Treadwell Office Building.

    An executive session is planned.  One agenda item is an update on the Gastineau Apartments litigation.   Watt said they are trying to recoup  the public money they spent tearing down the building and thought they were  getting close to resolving the matter.

    Members will also take up the annual evaluations for Watt and the  CBJ attorney.

    The meeting is scheduled to convene at 7 p.m Monday. in Assembly chambers at City Hall.

    The body's Human Resources Committee will convene an hour earlier to take up a proposal for resurrecting the Juneau Commission on Aging.

    It will also listen to annual report from the Aquatics Board and the Juneau Commission on Sustainability.




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