Long agenda faces CBJ Assembly

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The CBJ Assembly received thanks from U.S. Government agencies impacted by the partial government shutdown.

    U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Matthew Bell thanked the Juneau community for the support they showed during the partial government shutdown, "The support we have received has just been mind-blowing."

    Bell said the city, residents, neighbors and businesses came to the support of Coast Guard members.  "We noticed that.  We made record of that.  We will try to pay that back."

    Jerry Ingersoll, Deputy Regional Forester for the US Forest Service also thanked Juneau.  "It matters to every federal employee that is here to serve you and the country to be so appreciated and so supported during these last five weeks.  We are glad to be back at work for you and glad to have your support."

    Several residents spoke about the concerns they have with the legal dispute between the city and the Cruise Ship industry.

    Many said they don't want to subsidize the cruise ship industry with their tax dollars.

    Carla Hart said the cruise ship industry is a master at diverting costs to local governments. She raised concerns about water, street cleaning, and other costs for having a large number of visitors come to Juneau.

    The Assembly approved an ordinance that removes the sunset provision of June 30, 2019, for the CBJ Aquatics Board. The ordinance would also increase the number of board members from seven to nine. The Juneau School District and a local aquatics organization that rents the pool will both have voting representatives on the board.  The Director of Parks and Recreation will sit on the board as a non-voting member.   The Aquatics Manager will report directly to the Parks and Recreation Director and will provide staff support to the Aquatics Board. The Assembly will select three people to fill three-year terms, three people to fill two-year terms, and one person to fill a one-year term.  Two members Max Mertz and Patt Watt have terms that end in 2020.

    Assembly member Carole Triem said there had been concerns about board members who have children who work at the pool as lifeguards. 

    Assembly member Loren Jones said there are some that don't want the Aquatics Board to be an arm of a local swim club.  He supported language to keep that prohibition.  It failed 6-3. 

    The Assembly also approved an ordinance that repeals an ordinance and re-establishes the Treadwell Arena Advisory Board.  The Board will report to the Human Resources Committee.  Previously they answered to the Committee of the Whole.

    The Assembly delayed action on a $230,000 grant for the Amalga Fish Cleaning Station Project.  The grant comes from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. It was referred to the Public Works Committee for further public comment and staff research.    Some residents have concerns about fish waste drawing bears. They have had some bear issues this summer with one dog killed and a resident approached.

    Fishermen have complained that the fish cleaning station will cause congestion and slower their commute both in and out of the harbor.

    Resident Doug Larsen predicted the problem with bears will become worse if more cleaning stations are allowed.

    The Assembly approved an ordinance to reduce the penalty for violation of conditions of release from 10 days to five days.  This will match changes in state law. The maximum fine for the violation is $2,000.

    The Assembly approved an ordinance to appropriate $600,000 to fund electronic fare boxes for capital transit.  The grant comes from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and the local match is $150,000. The funding will provide Capital Transit with data management and a fare collection system that enables automatic passenger counters to track ridership and loads on an ongoing basis. It also creates a fare collection system to help reduce collection time and improved customer service.

    Assembly member Wade Bryson said he wanted to make sure that fare boxes accept cash so that no rider would be stranded.  Public Works Director Mike Vigue said acceptance of cash will remain a top priority.

    The Assembly also approved $479,653 for partial funding to replace a diesel bus with a 35-foot electric bus for Capital Transit. They will combine these funds with various grants and other funds to total $976,327 to purchase the new bus and associated charging equipment.

    Assembly member Michele Bonnet-Hale complained about the amount of time it has taken to receive electric buses.

    City Manager Rorie Watt said there is a bus on order.  He said the bus should be delivered sometime next fall.

    The Assembly approved $30,000 to help fund the cold weather emergency shelter. The grant was approved by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.

    Bryson asked if the CBJ could raise the temperature from 32 degrees to open the facility. 

    The Assembly approved a $52,763 grant from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority to help fund the CBJ housing and homelessness services coordinator project. 

    The Assembly also introduced ordinances that will appropriate $1.47 million to fund the new Recycleworks Consolidated Facility Capital Improvement Project. It will combine the recycling and household hazardous waste program in one facility. The money will come from the recent sale of the Shaune Drive public property.


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