CBJ Assembly passes resolution raising dog licensing fees, bid award to build West Douglas Pioneer Road

    JUNEAU, Alaska (KINY) - Monday night's regular CBJ Assembly meeting opened with a surprise special recognition for a Juneau arts advocate.

    A special award was presented to Mandy Mallott, with Amy Jo Meiners - the 2016 Alaska Teacher of the Year - providing an introduction, along with an explanation.

    "It's the Champion of the Arts award for community advocate," Meiners explained. "Mandy is a creative thinker and problem solver who sees the big picture and plans accordingly. She's driven to bring rich arts experiences for all ages to all of Juneau's children. As part of the Ensuring Arts for Any Given Child Committee, she was part of the efforts to earn Juneau the prestigious Kennedy Center Award. Her impact as an arts advocate is powerful and measurable; she's not done stepping up to make a strong impact on children in our community either, so I can't wait to see what she accomplishes next. She deserves to be recognized for her amazing advocacy for the arts in Juneau and the Southeast communities, and I hope you'll join me in honoring her."

    The special recognition caught Mandy by surprise, as Mayor Ken Koelsch had asked her to come to the Assembly for the stated purpose of sharing some words about Alaska's 2016 Teacher of the Year.

    After Mandy was recognized, it was on with business as usual, and the approval of minutes commenced.

    The Assembly proceeded to adopt a resolution granting increases to dog license fees, which were requested by Gastineau Humane Society and Juneau Police. Dog licenses allow GHS to track dogs within the City and Borough of Juneau, as well as return them to their rightful owner when found.

    Following the resolution's passage, the fee for spayed and neutered dogs has been raised to $20, while all dogs with a functional reproductive system have a license fee of $45. The previous license fees for each category of dog was $15 and $35, respectively, and were last raised in 2000.

    City Manager Rorie Watt provided additional information.

    "There is approximately $67,000 in license fees collected in a year, and an additional $6,800 in impound fees," stated Watt. "The number of dogs is an estimate; not knowing how to count all the dogs in the community easily, that's necessarily going to be an estimate. The fees are collected by the Humane Society, as well as the Animal Medical Center. If we were to try and increase the percentage of dogs that were licensed, we'd probably have to fund a pretty vigorous education and enforcement campaign."

    The Juneau Assembly also granted a bid award that calls for building the West Douglas Pioneer Road, as Mayor Koelsch explained while a guest on Action Line last Friday.

    "It was ENCO Alaska that came in with the low bid," said Koelsch. "It's 2.4 miles, 14 feet wide, single lane, and it's a start. It's been on the plan since I was first on the Assembly in 1997, so it's coming to fruition. Again, you have people who are excited about it, and people who are unhappy about it."

    The low bid was just over $1.5 million, well below the engineer's estimate of just over $2 million. As a matter of fact, the other five bids were all below the engineer's estimate.

    "Things are changing a little bit; there are two asphalt plants in Juneau now, which makes a little bit of a difference, and there are a lot of places looking for work."

    When it came time for public hearing of ordinances, all of the ordinances heard were passed with unanimous consent.

    First up was the lease agreement between the Docks and Harbors Department and the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes for an Immersion Park at the site of the former Thane Ore House. The next ordinance renewed the tidelands lease held by Andrew's Marina.

    Three appropriation ordinances also dealt with accepting federal funding for projects at the airport, including nearly $3.8 million for the next phase of the Airport Runway Safety Area.

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