Assembly passes resolution on biosolids, appropriates funding to several Capital Improvement Projects

    The regular August 1st meeting convened at 7 p.m. and was called to a close just after 8 p.m.

    The Monday night meeting was brief but productive, seeing the introduction and passage of a slew of ordinances.

    Three ordinances were adopted, all three of which appropriate funding to various locations. The ordinances were all passed unanimously, and appropriate $1,730,000 to fund the CBJ FY16 Public Employee Retirement System contribution, $2,250,313 for the Juneau International Airport Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Building Modifications Capital Improvement Project, and $272,105 to pay bond debt service, IRS arbitrage, and additional funding for various Capital Improvement Projects.

    City Manager Rorie Watt explained.

    "This ordinance would appropriate $272,105.07 in bond interest income that was earned on general obligation bond proceeds allocated to 15 Capital Improvement Projects," Watt stated. "The interest income is available to cover original projects' expenditures, pay bond debt service and IRS arbitrage fees, or other eligible Capital Improvement Projects."

    Chief among introduced ordinances was one that would authorize the Manager to finalize negotiations and enter into an agreement with Affordable Housing Development Corporation for the sale of Renninger Subdivision lots 6 and 7 at fair market value.

    Two ordinances introduced relate to commercial marijuana; one would amend the senior citizens sales tax exemption to disallow sales tax exempt purchases of marijuana unless accompanied by a prescription, while another would amend the Business Regulations Code relating to marijuana and alcohol. According to the Assembly's agenda, the latter ordinance would update the alcohol license review process by removing antiquated language and clarifying the grounds for protest to be consistent with state law, and provide a process for the review of state marijuana establishment license applications similar to the process used by the CBJ to review alcohol license applications.

    Other ordinances introduced would amend CBJ code to be consistent with changes made by the state to the omnibus crime bill, and appropriate funding to various projects.

    Additionally, a resolution passed making the long term biosolids treatment and disposal project the top priority for state funding in fiscal year 2017.

    The city and borough is applying for a $1 million grant from the Department of Environmental Conservation that requires a 40% local match.

    Assembly member Mary Becker recently spoke about that while a guest on Action Line with host Pete Carran.

    "We want to try to get state funding, and we'll have better luck if we make it a top priority," Becker explained. "We hope to get enough money to finally get this project done. It's very expensive to ship our biosolids, and the fear is that won't last forever. Right now, we can't determine that they will take our biosolids just because we want them to; they may quit sometime, so we have to be prepared for that."

    For more information on the Assembly's meeting, visit the city's website to view the full agenda.

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