CBJ Assembly adopts Land Management Plan, sets mill rate

    The CBJ Assembly has adopted the 2016 Land Management Plan, overtaking the 17-year-old Land Management Plan from 1999.

    Posted Monday, May 23rd, 2016 10:16pm by Lance David

    The CBJ Assembly has adopted the 2016 Land Management Plan, overtaking the 17-year-old Land Management Plan from 1999.

    The 2016 Land Management Plan provides direction on the best use of City-owned land, continues the land disposal program, promotes compact urban growth, and is a comprehensive reference document including maps and tables for all City-owned property.

    One area of contention in the new Land Management Plan involved use of developing a subdivision in Pederson Hill, prompting a flurry of public comment to which Assembly Member Maria Gladziszewski responded.

    "From the article in the paper and comments today, there's obviously concerns about the specific development of Pederson Hill. It says that Pederson Hill development should be completed in phases, and the first phase could include construction of an access road and 40 single family lots. The language is very general; the idea that a city is going to for sure sell a lot for $80,000 and require a developer to build a house for $300,000 is just not true. In some meetings, the Land Manager has said we hope to sell a lot for $80,000; that was aspirational, and it certainly isn't a requirement."

    Ultimately, the 2016 Land Management Plan was adopted as written, with the recommendations for development of Pederson Hill intact. The vote came in 6 to 3, with Mary Becker, Loren Jones, and Mayor Ken Koelsch voting against adoption.

    The 2016 Land Management Plan can be viewed online at the City and Borough of Juneau's website.

    The Assembly approved an ordinance dropping the mill rate for FY17 to 10.66 mills.

    The total FY16 mill levy was 10.76, with a debt mill levy of 1.50 and an operational mill levy of 9.26. The debt mill rate was dropped to 1.40 for FY17, and the ordinance as originally written brought the operational mill rate up to 9.36 to maintain the same total.

    An amendment from Assembly Member Loren Jones dropped the operational mill rate back to the previous value, lowering the total by 0.1.

    "At the Finance Commitee, in order to maintain the same level with our obligation to reduce the debt service mill rate, we actually had to increase the area-wide mill rate," Jones explained. "I voted against it at that time, and this amendment would bring it in line with what was proposed in the manager's budget for 2018. It would be a slight reduction in money available that we had set aside in a deferred maintenance Capital Improvement Project, but it wouldn't have any impact on the operating budgets other than that."

    Jamie Bursell spoke against the amendment.

    "I think keeping the mill rate the same is a really good idea. This is something I'd like to see stay the same rather than play the shell game of "assessments up, mill rate down" back and forth each year and give people more of something they can depend on. If we could make a goal of just keeping it the same for right now, I'm interested in looking at things like controlled spending and taking care of debts so we don't pass them on to the next generation."

    Ultimately, the amendment passed with Jamie Bursell, Jerry Nankervis, Kate Troll, and Debbie White voting against adoption. The same four voted against adoption of the ordinance.

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