Thane camp could be moved closer to town

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The CBJ plans to have a new campground in place this summer.

    The Thane Campground was provided as a seasonal housing option that helps reduce illegal camping and trash.  The Parks and Recreation Department has managed the facility from April to October each year since 2010.  The CBJ has leased the property from AJT Mining since 1999.

    The campground is hard to get to on foot and impossible for vehicles.  It contains 18 campsites with garbage cans and portable toilets.  The only access to the site is a steep trail. 

    The CBJ said thousands of pounds of trash are removed from these campsites each year.  Removal can be a dangerous task with hazardous materials and sharp objects often found in the trash.

    The CBJ studied what other cities are doing to deal with similar issues.  Some create temporary housing options for the homeless, like campgrounds and small huts.  The temporary housing is managed environments and served by social workers.  They try to find more permanent housing for these individuals.

    AJT Mining is willing to lease property closer to town.  It would accommodate 20 campsites.

    CBJ officials said it would be a safer and more accessible location.  A management plan would include daily visits by Juneau Police, park rangers and park maintenance staff.  The CBJ Homelessness Coordinator would also provide services to the campers and connect them to social services.  
    CBJ officials add it will reduce crime, illegal camping and illegal dumping, and provide the homeless a safe place to sleep.  

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