THE CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU, ALASKA
December 7, 1998
MEETING NO. 98-37: The Regular meeting of the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly, held in the Assembly Chambers of the Municipal Building, was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Deputy Mayor John MacKinnon.
Assembly Present: Kibby, MacKinnon, Perkins, Powell, Hagevig, and Koelsch
Assembly Absent: Garrett, Muñoz and Mayor Egan
A quorum was present.
Staff Present: Marian Miller, Municipal Clerk; Dave Palmer, City Manager; John Corso, City Attorney; Ernie Mueller, Director Public Works; John Kern, Transit Manager; Andrew Bronson; Kim Kiefer, Director Parks and Rec.; Joe Graham, Port Director; Dave Miller, Airport Manager; Mike Rodeo; Greg Chaney, CDD Planner; Gretchen Keiser, CDD Planning Supervisor; Craig Duncan, Finance Director; Christine Blackgoat.
SPECIAL ORDER OF BUSINESS
1. City and Borough Attorney Annual Evaluation
MOTION – by Hagevig, to move the special order of business – Evaluation of the CBJ Attorney to the end of the meeting, or 9:00 p.m., which ever comes first. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Dean Williams, a 67-year resident living in the Highlands, testified regarding the dangers he is noticing on construction happening in the area. He passed out pictures to the Assemblymembers of the debris that was moved when they were constructing the flume house. They had to get the heavy equipment in there to move all the debris that came down during the 1996 storm. The debris ended up on CBJ property, Lot 3A. No one in the Administration has told him who authorized that movement of dirt. The purpose was that Mr. MacKinnon was going to buy the city property and was going to get an easement and it would have been a handy way to get his access in from the top. That was his objective, but that was denied and now Mr. MacKinnon was coming in from the lower end. Other pictures showed the upper Bathe Creek area where there was a lot of debris, rocks and trees that were ready to come down the mountain. He said every five years there is a major occurrence in the area. The third set of pictures was the water that came down in the 1998 storm in October. He said the amount of water that ran off the hillside cannot all be blamed on Mr. MacKinnon's project, but he said he had never seen that much water on the streets up there before. He referred to a map to show the location of Mr. MacKinnon’s property. He said it was only 42 feet to where the debris had been piled up from Bathe Creek. The main culprit was the 3’ culvert put in on the light and power road to the flume and regardless of its size, it could not take care of what comes down the mountain. He pointed to the area that gets jammed up with debris, logs, causing a build up. He referred to a problem a neighbor had when the water backed up and came down by his house. Mr. Mueller had said that he was not entirely comfortable with what had happened in the area. Mr. Rodgers has said that the area has been saturated for years and when it gets the extra water that comes down off Bathe creek, then accidents happen. He referred to the area on the map where a car had gotten stunk to its hubcaps and had to be towed out. The professional people that have been up there have said they would never live in a house built where Mr. MacKinnon is proposing to build his house. He commented that Ms. Muñoz and Mr. Powell have been up there to tour the area with him and they understand the problem. He urged the other members to take time to see the area because trying to look at maps is not a way to understand the problem. This involves human lives and property. The reports that are gathering dust at city hall should be read and studied so those problems can be avoided.
Mr. Perkins asked what he wanted the Assembly to do. Mr. Williams said it would be difficult because Mr. MacKinnon had a lot of money invested into the project. Going to square one and doing what had been recommended, to do a land trade off, would be the best thing that could happen. Mr. MacKinnon would not be doing any more development during the winter so he thought the Assembly would have some time to think about it. He again encouraged the Assembly to look at the problem before making a decision. He thought there should be some other property that Mr. MacKinnon would be happy with. He did not blame Mr. MacKinnon for wanting to build his dreamhouse in this area but noted it was a bad trade off when you start thinking about the other things involved.
Mr. Perkins asked if there was anything in ordinance about Assemblymember's owning property and selling it to the city. Mr. Corso said as a general rule, it was very difficult for the CBJ to engage in land transactions with members of the Assembly and in most circumstances it was impossible.
Mr. Koelsch asked if there was still neighborhood opposition to this or had it calmed down once the access was denied through upper Evergreen. Mr. Williams said it had calmed down somewhat, but there was still a lot of concern. He had been sent as a representative for the people in the area and he was sure they would all show up if it came to that. He did not think that Mr. MacKinnon would put this much effort into the access if he did not have more in mind than a couple single-family dwellings.
Mr. Powell asked if they were against both of the houses being built. Mr. Williams said they were definitely against the avalanche house. The other house probably could be built but he suspected there might be foundation problems as there was no bedrock in the whole area.
Patrick Owen, 6590 Glacier Highway, #261, testified about the cat and dog issues of leash laws. He understood from a dogcatcher that there was an ordinance for cats and dogs. He said the manager in the trailer park called him up after Mr. Owens made two requests to his neighbor to keep her cat out of his garden. She called the manager and the manger called him and started raising hell with him. He did not think there was any reason for this and he said he pays his rent on the property and it is his property. Until he leaves there, he has the right to kick cats off his property. He was concerned that the Assembly could not put teeth in the laws and said if the laws were going to be written, put teeth in them to back them up. Then, the dogcatcher would know that when he goes out, he can depend on the city to back him up.
Ms. Hagevig asked if the contract with the Humane Society included feline control as well as canine control. Mr. Corso did not believe that it did but added that it cover animals generally with respect to cruelty to animals. He thought the viscous animals’ ordinance was also limited to dogs; dogs were the only animals that were not allowed to be at large. Ms. Hagevig said she could empathize with Mr. Owen as she experienced the same problems in her neighborhood.
Mr. Owen said there needed to be an ordinance so the people would not take care of the cats themselves.
Mr. Powell clarified that Mr. Owens saw it as a public health concern when the cats do their business in his garden and he then works with his hands in the garden. He asked Mr. Corso if it specifically says in the ordinance that it’s a public health concern as far as dogs were concerned. Mr. Corso read that the owner of an animal does have an obligation to clean up fecal matter left by that animal. Mr. Corso then went on to say that the animals that were not allowed to run at large were dogs or livestock.
Mr. Owen said the same thing was happening with dogs at Sandy Beach when people bring them there to run and do their business. That was just as much a concern to him as the cats were.
Mr. MacKinnon clarified that Mr. Owen was before the Assembly about a year ago when he had cats living under his trailer and he asked if the cats were still hanging out down there. Mr. Owen said they were still hanging around causing him a lot of problems and he could not feed the bird for fear of the cats.
Marissa Williams, 422 E. Street, testified about Capital Transit. She said the last time she testified she was misquoted in the newspaper and she offered a copy of her testimony. She felt there was three areas in which to improve public transit. First, acknowledge the really good service of the people in the public transit authority. Next, recognize that a bus service that only runs once an hour and is absent on Sunday evenings fails to meet the basic needs of the community. Finally, that the overcrowded bus conditions were creating really dangerous conditions for everybody, but particularly elderly, children and disabled people. She thought there were social factors that could be addressed better, that would have positive impacts everywhere. She felt the city should cope better with the alcohol-related abuses in the community because it was creating dangerous conditions on the buses and the roadways. Also, that the bus stops were not sufficiently well planned and there were a lot that were dangerous. She added that with tourism, there was a lot more people out and about than the city knows how to comfortably accommodate. She reported that the night before Thanksgiving, she had been waiting for the bus in the Mendenhall parking lot. It was dark and icy and she was nearly killed by a drunk driver who thought it would be fun to play chicken with the people waiting in the parking lot for the bus. The poor location of the bus stop contributed to a nightmare.
Mr. Perkins clarified that at the Mendenhall Mall stop, people going the other direction have to wait in the parking lot and not in the shelter. Ms. Williams said a person could wait in the shelter and dart across the street when the bus comes. With the conditions of poor lighting and ice, it will be hard to come up with a solution. Mr. Perkins asked if the drunk driver was apprehended. Ms. Williams said no, but she felt it was clear by his actions that that he was intoxicated. Mr. Perkins agreed that alcohol was a problem in the community in some areas, and he asked if it was a real problem on the bus. Ms. Williams said there was a real problem and it was a tragic problem and a real health problem in the community that was not being addressed. Mr. Perkins asked if there was a concern for her well being on the bus. Ms. Williams said she was concerned not only for herself, but particularly for young people and for the elderly and disabled. Mr. Perkins asked Mr. Palmer if the drivers where keeping records on the number of people being harassed on the bus. Mr. Palmer said Mr. Kern would be addressing that.
Ms. Hagevig asked Ms. Williams if she and her group had discussed how to finance the changes they would like to see on the buses. She asked if they have any recommendations with respect to the kind of revenue stream the city could need to find and implement in order to make these things happen. Ms. Williams said that she was not part of a group and was not in a position to speak for others. She said she did not have specific recommendations for revenue sources. Her first order of business was to witness and to testify.
Mr. Powell asked if she had heard other experiences like hers about being bothered on the bus with the alcohol problem. He asked if it was an isolated experience or was it certain runs or what. Ms. Williams said that it could not be estimated because you cannot predict when people are likely to be smashed; it could be in the morning or night.
Michael Miller, 6737 Gray Street, announced that the SE Alaska Cancer and Wellness Foundation was a newly formed organization. They would be having a Christmas Social on Sunday, December 13th from 2-5 at the Hangar on the Wharf. They would be unveiling the SE Alaska Cancer and Wellness Foundation logo, which was designed by Sarah Olson of Saragraphics. He said it would be a time to say thank you to the medical community and health care providers in Juneau, recognize people who would potentially be supporting the organization, and a time to celebrate individuals who have given us more strength to continue living in their memory. Their organization would be offering support, connecting patients and their families to individuals and groups, providing awareness through public advocacy events, education via seminars and forums, workshops with guest speakers brought to Alaska and recourses serving as a clearing house for education materials and other assistance. They would not be reinventing the wheel with what is being offered in the community. As a person who had gone through two traumatic events, he felt it was time to have an organization that could help mainstream things for people like his family. He invited the Assembly to come to the Christmas Social because they would like to make each Assemblymember honorary charter members of the Foundation. He also invited the community and said if the community gets behind the organization, we would see something that would knock the socks off of everybody and be of great value and assistance to people when there is a traumatic event.
Bruce Wing, 11307 Glacier Highway, testified as the chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Solid Waste Management. He read his letter into the record: The Waste Management Committee continues to work towards improving recycling efforts in Juneau. Given the unstable waste management and recycling in Juneau, they believe a municipal centralized recycling center is still the best solution. This year USA Waste, Inc. purchased Channel Landfill and Arrow Refuse. The landfill no longer accepts free of charge several recyclable items: metals, cars etc. Recycling of many goods in Juneau and SE Alaska, especially cardboard and plastics is not likely to be profitable and will require governmental support if it is to be ongoing and consistent. In March 1997, the committee met with the COW concerning development of the centralized recycling center. They had evaluated 10 locations in the Lemon Creek area on which to possibly site the center. They rated one site, owned by Mr. Kenneth Williams as very high. The committee was directed to work with the Lands and Resources Department towards obtaining this property. The preferred strategy was to trade the owner for CBJ lands of comparable value, however, this strategy has not worked. Trade strategy failed because the city became involved in the Mental Health Trust lands issue, a long protracted process, and Mr. Williams has not given his firm answer on his willingness to make a trade. He has made the statement that he does not want to sell the preferred property for tax liability reasons. Since the borough began negotiations with Mr. Williams, several other potential recycling center site are no longer available. There remain undeveloped lots in the Lemon Creek area, but the area is growing rapidly and potential recycling sites are being developed for other purposes. The possibility of locating the recycling center on CBJ gravel lands in the area may not be viable until after the gravel has been removed. The Waste Management Committee would like the CBJ to try another strategy. They wish the CBJ to issue a request for letters of interest on a site and building for a recycling center. The borough could then lease or buy the site depending on the location and suitability. If enough interest were shown to provide an appropriate recycling center, then a RFP to operate the center would be issued. The group requested that the COW meet with them to discuss the proposal and to obtain further direction.
Mr. MacKinnon said the Recycling Center was on the list of items for the COW. He agreed it would be a good idea to have a joint meeting and said the issue was in the Lands committee. Mr. Kibby said that the last bit of negotiations taking place with staff was developing the letter of first right of refusal for the properties so they could be maintained until they came to an agreement. It was felt that that property was probably the most viable specifically since it joins the CBJ Hazardous Waste facility. It did not make sense to move it out of the area and unless something has changed, that is where it was left. The direction from the last COW, a year and a half ago, was to try to tie the land up at this point in time and try something on a much smaller scale to see if this would be a viable process before building a facility. Mr. MacKinnon added that Arrow Refuse, at the time, was expressing and interest in participating but now they are not longer an entity.
Ms. Hagevig said when this was discussed, there was emphasis placed on the necessity for this to be in the vicinity of Costco. Mr. Wing said that was still the preferred area because it was centralized for the whole community.
Mr. MacKinnon said there would be a COW either in January or February and he would get together with the City Clerk to pick a time. Mr. Kibby said he would go back and make sure that staff had proceeded with the measures that were described.
Joyce Levine, testified addressing the problem of over crowded Capital Transit buses. She hoped the Assemblymembers would understand the present problems on the buses and act swiftly to make the positive changes. She said for the last three years, the drivers kept daily records of how many people at a particular time of day were turned away from the buses. She wanted to see a copy of the report for the entire year and not just summer service as the problem exists at other time during the year. She thanked Mr. Palmer for sitting down with the drivers and having a meeting with them to hear their concerns. She said it was incredible to her that the drivers had 55 items of concern, some of which were safety issues. Next to implementing the proposed five-year plan, which Capital Transit has talked about for the last 15 years, the bus drivers, as well as the public, have been requesting half hour service. It seems the stumbling block was the cost of implementing half hour service. She suggested hiring two more full time drivers and add one bus looping through the Valley every half hour. That would get close to providing half hour service in the Valley. Presently, there is a driver from 7-11 and a driver from 11-6 on the express run. Adding three hours a day to that, there would be express service from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. Add to that express service on Saturdays and it would help to alleviate some of the problems and be lower than the cost of full half-hour service. The park and ride program, as well as the downtown shuttle, were both successful and brought less cars into downtown but both programs were cut. Presently, at 7:15 a.m. there are four buses at the Nugget Mall. One of those buses could become a park and ride bus. There are ideas that Capital Transit could implement that would not cost millions of dollars. The city seems willing to throw millions at the idea of a downtown garage but not at mass transit. She urged the city to look into grants through the Federal government. The only grants that she personally knows that the city is presently applying for are those that replace old buses and not grants to add on service. Capital Transit could be a more attractive way of getting into town than using a car and it would help reduce the problem of parking. She urged the city to act immediately to make changes to Capital Transit that would make the service friendlier to the community.
Mr. Williams, from the audience, asked for the removal of item A-1, ordinance 98-38. Mr. Koelsch asked for the removal of A-3, ordinance 98-40.
MOTION - by Hagevig, to adopt the Consent Agenda with the exception of item A-1 and A-3, and she asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
A. Ordinances for Introduction
2. Ordinance No. 98-39
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE LAND USE CODE TABLE OF PERMISSIBLE USES TO ALLOW DRIVE-IN RESTAURANTS IN AN INDUSTRIAL ZONE, SEAFOOD PROCESSING WATERFRONT ZONES, AND MARINE COMMERCIAL FACILITIES IN RURAL RESERVE AND WATERFRONT ZONES.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be introduced and set for public hearing at the next regular meeting.
AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS FOR CERTAIN SHOPPING MALL MEMBERSHIP DUES AND CERTAIN TRANSACTIONS BY TRUST ENGAGED IN RELATED PARTY COMMERCIAL RENTALS.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be introduced and set for public hearing at the next regular meeting.
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $1,120,909 FOR THE FOLLOWING CAPITAL PROJECTS: AIRPORT REVOLVING CAPITAL RESERVE ACCOUNT, AIRPORT TERMINAL WALL AND CEILING REHABILITATION, EAST END GENERAL AVIATION AREA DEVELOPMENT, SNOW REMOVAL EQUIPMENT BUILDING DESIGN, INSTALLATION OF SECURITY FENCING, ENVIRONMENTAL FOR FLOAT POND AND RTR AREA AND EAST GENERAL AVIATION AND AIR CARRIER RAMP IMPROVEMENT CHANGES.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be introduced and set for public hearing at the next regular meeting.
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $2,453,000 FOR THE FOLLOWING CAPITAL PROJECTS: ADAIR KENNEDY PARK IMPROVEMENTS, ARCHERY RANGE ACCESSIBLE SHOOTING PLATFORM, DIMOND PARK IMPROVEMENTS, HANK HARMON RIFLE RANGE IMPROVEMENTS, MELVIN PARK FIELD DUGOUTS, PIPELINE SKATE PARK RESTROOMS, SAVIKKO PARK PLAY FIELD IMPROVEMENT, TREADWELL DITCH TRAIL IMPROVEMENT, EAGLECREST SNOW PLAY/SNOW TUBING AREA, EAGLECREST SNOWBOARD TERRAIN PARK, EAGLECREST COMPOSTING TOILETS, EAGLECREST PARKING LOT CHIP SEAL COMPLETION, DOUGLAS HARBOR UPLANDS AND MOORAGE EXPANSION, HARBORS AREA WIDE RESTROOMS CONSTRUCTION , MAYFLOWER ISLAND CAUSEWAY UPGRADE, AND STATTER HARBOR PARKING/PEDESTRIAN ACCESS IMPROVEMENTS. SUCH FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE TEMPORARY 1% SALES TAX LEVY TO BE USED FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO EXISTING PARKS AND HARBORS, AND TO EAGLECREST.
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $60,000 TO FULLY FUND CONSTRUCTION OF A MOORING DOLPHIN AT THE FERRY DOCK WHARF. SUCH FUNDS PROVIDED BY PORT FUNDS UNRESERVED FUND BALANCE.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING PARTICIPATION IN THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM AND ENDORSING THE APPLICATION OF GASTINEAU HUMAN SERVICES CORPORATION.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that the resolution be adopted.
C. Bid Award:
1. Bid No. 99-158: two (2) 4x4 Conventional Cab Trucks.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended award of this bid to Lewis Chevrolet, with a total bid award of $77, 580.00.
A-1 Ordinance No. 98-38
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE FOR-HIRE VEHICLE CODE TO AVOID DUPLICATION OF STATE REGULATION, TO AUTHORIZE CREATION OF COMMERCIAL PASSENGER VEHICLE CONTROL AREAS AND LOADING ZONES, AND TO ESTABLISH PENALTIES FOR THE VIOLATION OF THE CODE.
Sean Williams, representing the Juneau Independent Drivers Association, P.O. Box 21145 Auke Bay. He said this ordinance did not address their concerns and they did not feel the ordinance would be beneficial.
Mr. Powell clarified that by allowing the introduction of this ordinance, they would not be precluding work on the ordinance that was suggested in Mr. Williams’ December 7th letter. Mr. MacKinnon said at the time of public hearing, and a motion on the ordinance, that would be the time to make amendments, provided they were not too substantial. Mr. Corso said if the Assembly proposes to work on the ordinance as a body, it must introduce it first. After it is introduced, it might be possible to send it back to staff with direction.
MOTION – by Powell, that ordinance 98-38 be introduced and set for public hearing at the next regular meeting. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mr. Corso asked if the Assembly wanted staff to do something in the interim. Mr. Powell was not sure, he was just concerned with the time frame in light of the holidays.
A-3 Ordinance No. 98-40
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE LAND USE CODE TABLE OF PERMISSIBLE USES TO ALLOW SCRAP MATERIAL SALVAGE YARDS, JUNKYARDS, AUTOMOBILE GRAVEYARDS AND OTHER SUCH USES IN THE WI, WATERFRONT INDUSTRIAL ZONE.
Mr. Koelsch noted the Manager’s Report said the Planning Commission had not yet reviewed the ordinance. Mr. MacKinnon said this was just for introduction, if the Planning Commission, tomorrow night when they look at it, have any changes or amendments, he would assume a memo would go to the Assemblymembers with a few suggestions and it could be amended when it is moved. Mr. Koelsch said that what he appreciated about sitting as an Assemblymember was that a lot of the homework has already been done and it has been fine-tuned. The Assemblymembers are then basically dealing with policy as opposed to the nuts and bolts. He would feel a lot better letting it go to the Planning Commission and letting them review it before it comes to the Assembly.
Mr. Perkins asked what was the urgency of having this introduced tonight and he said he agreed with Mr. Koelsch. Mr. Palmer said there was no urgency. It looked like a fairly routine issue so staff thought they would try to move it along. Mr. Perkins clarified there would be a detailed report coming from the Planning Commission and if the Planning Commission had a lot of problem with it, it would not come before the Assembly.
There was no motion for introduction.
1. Ordinance No. 98-37
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE OFFICIAL ZONING MAP OF THE CITY AND BOROUGH TO CHANGE THE ZONING OF APPROXIMATELY 5 ACRES OF TRACT A, GOLDEN HEIGHTS SUBDIVISION.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that the ordinance be adopted.
Public Testimony: None at this time.
MOTION - by Powell, to adopt ordinance 98-37 for the purpose of discussion.
Mr. Powell referred to the last line on page 10 in the ordinance where it listed uses such as church and recreational facilities. He asked what was being considered by IHH.
Ms. Gretchen Keiser from CDD came forward to answer questions. She said the current proposal pending at CDD was for a minor subdivision that would initially develop eight of the 31acres and would include four 15-unit apartment buildings and the access driveway at the southeasterly portion of the 31 acres. The developers have additional plans including a family oriented recreation center, a church facility with some multi-purpose rooms, possibly a small school function and then further down the road they are looking at some additional condominium units.
Mr. Powell asked if it would be for the use of those folks exclusively. Ms. Keiser said the most recent plans she had heard with regard to the recreation center was that it would be a public facility. People within the development certainly would have access to the facility.
Mr. Kibby said this was just being changed to D-15 and it was not exclusive to any of the uses or conditioned on any particular uses within the Table of Permissible uses. They could sell the property tomorrow and do anything that comes under D-15.
Mr. Perkins asked if the city ever got paid on this property. Mr. Palmer stated that IHH told him that their financing for last summer’s project had fallen through. They had another company lined up and they just received notice that their financing should be together and they should be current with the CBJ by the 20th of December.
Mr. MacKinnon commented that this was one of those unusual instances where a zoning boundary does not follow a property line. When there is a piece of property that has a zone change in the middle of one parcel, it gets to be a difficult thing for who ever owns that parcel. He thought part of this was an attempt to clean that up.
There being no objection to the call of unanimous consent, it was so ordered.
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $55,000 TO DEVELOP A CAMPGROUND NEAR THANE ROAD. SUCH FUNDS PROVIDED BY LOW INCOME HOUSING FUND UNRESERVED FUND BALANCE.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that the ordinance be adopted.
Public Testimony: None at this time.
MOTION – by Kibby to adopt ordinance 98-17 (R) and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mr. Koelsch referred to the handout that said there would be no additional cost to the city besides the $55,000 and he asked about garbage pick up, water, and other services.
Mr. MacKinnon clarified that revenue would pay for costs of operation and any left over would go to St. Vincent DePaul. Mr. Kibby agreed that Mr. Koelsch had a valid concern because they did not know if it would be revenue neutral or if people would use the facility.
Mr. Koelsch said he would support this, but reluctantly. He thought the key for his support was that it would allow the city to keep other places from free camping because now there would be a place to camp.
There being no objection to ordinance 98-17(R), it was so ordered.
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $104,048 TO PURCHASE TWO NEW PARATRANSIT VANS FOR THE CARE-A-VAN SERVICE. SUCH FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC FACILITIES.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that the ordinance be adopted.
Public Testimony: None at this time.
Ms. Hagevig asked for verification from the City Manager if she should step down due to her new job. Mr. Corso said that would be his recommendation. Ms. Hagavig stepped down.
MOTION – by Kibby, to adopt ordinance 98-17 (S) and he asked unanimous consent.
Mr. Powell noted that the old vans were surplused and he asked if they were still usable. Mr. Palmer said the Purchasing Department usually puts a value on them and then runs ads to try to sell them at minimum bid. Mr. Powell asked how old the vans were. Mr. Kern came forward and stated the two vans that would be removed from the fleet were two 1990 vehicles which had close to 200,000 miles on them.
Mr. Perkins said that in the past, the city had worked with other communities in SE and he wondered if possibly Haines or Skagway would be able to use them. Mr. Palmer said that typically if there is any public purpose for surplus, they try to meet that first.
There being no objection to ordinance 98-17(S), it was so ordered.
Ms. Hagevig returned to her seat on the Assembly.
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $500,000 FOR DESIGN OF IMPROVEMENTS TO THE STEAMSHIP WHARF AND MARINE PARK. SUCH FUNDS PROVIDED BY PORT FUND UNRESERVED FUND BALANCE.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that the ordinance be adopted.
Public Testimony: None at this time.
MOTION – by Perkins, to adopt ordinance 98-17 (T) and he asked unanimous consent.
Mr. Graham came forward for questions and Mr. Kibby asked how much was left in the unreserved fund. Mr. Graham said roughly $800,000. Mr. Kibby asked how many years it would take off, at the current rate that the fund had been establishing at for the per ton dockage fee, to pay the $7M note off. Mr. Graham did not know. He thought it changed based on the nature of the bond and that it would be similar to the existing program which was nine years.
Mr. Koelsch said that part of the memo said to re-design Marine Park at no net loss of park area. He asked what was proposed. Mr. Graham said the current vision was to deck over the void between the steamship wharf and the shore, and then move the footprint of Marine Park partially onto that deck over at no net loss of the footprint of the park area. Then they would use a portion of the existing Marine Park area for additional staging, for motor vehicles and parking.
Mr. Kibby asked what amount of revenue generated would be available to Docks and Harbors. Mr. Graham said they expected some increase in motor coach and loading zone activity in the area. Estimates were fairly modest in terms of revenue; from $25 – 50,000 increase over what was currently received. Mr. Kibby said when the people voted for this, why did Mr. MacKinnon feel that the tonnage fee should go toward this specific improvement and not towards other improvements within the community that were just as sorely needed, if not more. He went on to say that he remembered a comment being made that before the tonnage fee was used in lieu of anything else, that people voted on the issue of rebuilding Marine Park and the Steamship dock. He said he went back through the ballot proposition and read it and that was not part of it. It was part of some information that was attached to it, but he was not left with the impression that at some point in time this would be the next thing that would be done. He was concerned that there was an opportunity coming up shortly, as this bond is paid off in a few years, that could allow phasing to take care of some of the action items we have asked the Tourism Committee to come up with. He asked Mr. MacKinnon if he still felt that before this money was used for anything else, it had to go to rebuilding the steamship dock and Marine Park.
Mr. MacKinnon said this went through the Public Works Committee, the Harbor Board was behind the proposal and he thought using the tonnage fee for off-site improvements, away from the dock face waterfront area, would be a hard sell on a couple of members of this body. It specifically was not part of the original agreement with the industry as well as the voters. Mr. Kibby thought that the industry did not think that once the dock was paid for, they were no longer going to pay docking fees. He said he hated tying up the tonnage fee for nine years on a project, when he sees other areas within the community. and he has not felt comfortable as this has progressed for the past couple years. Mr. MacKinnon felt this was what the voters voted on and that that was the agreement between industry and the city at the time. They agreed there was a mechanism toward tonnage fee that was used throughout the world for port improvements. The industry recognized that it would probably never go away once it started, although the ordinance does have it dying out in 2001 when it is paid off. The industry does recognize that once it is put in, it will never go away but they also feel it should be done for immediate shore side improvements.
Mr. Kibby did not have a problem with improvements and he did not mind phasing them, but he was concerned with tying up the tonnage fee when there are not other revenue sources in which to address some of the concerns before the Assembly. He thought this was an opportunity to start applying some of that toward other direct impacts. He agreed there was a need to take care of the facility and keep it the best there is, otherwise it would become a liability. It has served the community well and has gotten Juneau off on the right foot. The Finance chair has informed us we are looking at a $1.4 – 1.7M deficit and he knows there will be a lot of hands out and some of the other concerns will have to be addressed. Mr. MacKinnon pointed out that the charge was currently at .20 cents a net registered ton and the existing ordinance allows up to .25 cents a net registered ton.
Ms. Hagevig spoke in support as the liaison to the Harbor Board and having attended a number of their meetings. She said this had been discussed at great length and thoroughly analyzed and was within their mandate from the Assembly as an enterprise organization. This was something they had not entered into lightly and a considerable amount of work had been done which fits well with the work they have also done on their master planning process. If the Assembly is going to give organizations like the Harbor Board the mandate to go forth and do good things on its behalf, it seemed to her, not withstanding some of the concerns that Mr. Kibby has, that they be given the latitude to do exactly that. They have done a commendable job and made an excellent presentation to the Public Works committee who supported moving this forward to the full Assembly. She said there may be adjustments made with ordinance or in concert with what the Harbor Board is doing and with Port Advisory Committee as well.
Mr. Koelsch appreciated Mr. Kibby’s comments. He felt everyone had been told that this was what the ordinance was for, but it seemed obvious that, if passes tonight, with $500,000 in for design, when this ordinance comes up again, that would be where that money that is collected would have to go for. There would be a two-year policy statement with this.
Ms. Hagevig noted that this did not include the extension of the sea-walk which could occur as the design work was done.
Mr. Powell agreed this would tie the money up for this purpose but he saw it as maintenance, not only an improvement. He asked Mr. Corso for a reading on the intent of the tonnage fee. Mr. Corso said the purpose of it was to "retire outstanding bond indebtedness for port facilities, proposed port facility improvements, major maintenance and land acquisition and to maintain a fund balance in port development and major maintenance fund sufficient to offset reasonable fluctuations in annual cruise ship business without an additional change to the base rate and reflecting changes in port usage."
Mr. Powell spoke in favor of the ordinance and said it seemed to be consistent with that language and there was flexibility that would allow the tonnage fee to be increased.
Mr. Perkins spoke in support of the ordinance. This had been one of the priorities of the Harbor Board and he thought for a long time that void in the middle of Marine Park was rather dangerous. This would help to take some of the pressure off the road coming in and he felt there were plenty other reasons for supporting the ordinance.
Mr. MacKinnon asked if there was a consultant on board for this yet. Mr. Graham said no, if the ordinance was passed, the CIP Committee and the Harbor Board would meet on Thursday night to scope the project out. The advertisement would be on the street for a consultant before the end of the month.
Mr. Kibby said the Assembly was the one that directed the Harbor Board to proceed with this. At the time, this was not number one on their radarscope. Also, the future Assemblies may want to look at modifying the ordinance to open the scope.
Mr. MacKinnon said a future Assembly would have to modify the ordinance before revenue bonds were sold.
There being no objection to adoption of the ordinance, it was so ordered.
B R E A K
8:20 p.m. – 8:35 p.m.
Administrative Report: Mr. Corso noted that it was not really a conditional use permit for development of a two story commercial building but a conditional use permit for development in a hazard area.
MOTION – by Powell, that the Assembly accepts the appeal. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
MOTION – by Powell, that the Assembly hear the appeal itself and not assign a hearing officer. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
MOTION – by Powell, that the Assembly hears the appeal and that the Mayor designates a member as a presiding officer. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mr. MacKinnon appointed Mr. Koelsch as the presiding officer.
A. Manager’s Report - Action Items
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that the Assembly schedule Resolution No. 1968 for public hearing on January 4, 1999.
MOTION - by Kibby, to schedule Resolution No. 1968 for a public hearing on January 4, 1999 and he asked for unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that the Assembly schedule Resolution No. 1969 for public hearing on January 4, 1999.
MOTION – by Kibby, to schedule Resolution 1969 for public hearing on January 4, 1999, and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
B. Manager’s Report - Information Items
Administrative Report: Mr. Palmer noted that the report was in the packet along with a copy of the newsletter, the questionnaire that was mailed to about 250 people, and a report from Carson Dorn.
Mr. Jim Dorn was present to review the report included in the packet. He also reviewed the packet of information that was made available describing the concept behind wastewater treatment, which included an overview of each of the processes shown on the flow sheet. There was a figure showing how a sequencing batch reactor, used in the Mendenhall Valley Treatment Plant, works. The report addressed each of the plant components and systematically evaluated the odor generating potential for each component. He said that currently an effort was underway to replace the decanters with ones that were readily on the market and should help reduce the odor. The piping would also be cleaned out of the basins. An equalization tank was being used to handle peak flows and putting the decanters in would eliminate a lot of the bypass that was taking place. It might then be possible to eliminate, or severely restrict, the use of the equalization tank which was a spot where raw sewage comes in, sits for a while until it has a chance to have a basin available to accept it, and that can generate odors at times. Periodic cleaning of tanks also had a potential for generating odors. He said there was an old wastewater treatment plant that has been cobbled together and converted into an aerated holding tank. The process involved shutting the air off in the holding tank, letting the solids settle to the bottom and then pulling the liquids off the top allowing the solids to concentrate in the bottom. In order to do that, the air needs to be left off for too long, 12 – 16 hours at a time. That length of time allows the microorganisms to go from aerobic to anaerobic. That is the one area of greatest concern. There is not enough air going in and the types of diffusers that are adding air into that mixing area are not very effective at getting oxygen transfer. The sludge is having to sit too long and in order to get any concentration and this combination has created a real septic anaerobic condition that smells bad. He said this was only a status report; there were improvements taking place. They were looking at the solids handling in general, particularly in the old plant where the solids were being held under aerated conditions. The general approach they were taking was to minimize solids handling at the Mendenhall Plant. That was not typical but for this plant, one located in a neighborhood, it seems prudent. The JD Plant would be the logical place for that and they were considering trucking solids to the JD Plant for dewatering and disintegration. They were also looking at what the costs would be to actually treat exhaust gases out of the Mendenhall Plant in the four major areas of the plant. He referred to the Odor Questionnaire and said they had 10 more responses come in after the report in the packet was generated, making the total response 38 out of 250 sent. He had a new version as of today and said they would like to continue to get public feedback as they implement changes to see if they are working.
Mr. Powell asked the time line. Mr. Dorn said they were looking to have draft reports ready by mid-December and then the final report would be ready in January. At that point in time, someone would need to make a decision about what to do. Mr. Powell clarified the final report would include costs and recommendations. He then asked if the scrubbing, misting and biofilter was the most expensive and he thought the other things would be more productive as far as removing the odor. These were high end and were a small percentage of the problem. Mr. Dorn said he agreed and that trying to treat the exhaust gases meant not being able to correct the problem by other more conventional methods. There were other things that could be done before treating those gases which involves chemicals and maybe biological sections. Those are not easy or fun things to have to deal with and in instances like this, it needs to be looked at as a phased approach; do the things that are most logical and have the greatest potential for reducing the greatest amount of odors. Once that is done, get public opinion. Mr. Powell then asked if other communities were similarly situated with a treatment plant in a residential area. Mr. Dorn said there were other communities that had wastewater treatment plants in commercial or residential areas. They deal with odors and have the same situation were at time they smell bad. The best solution would be to not have them there.
MOTION – by Hagevig to suspend the rules for 9:00 executive session and she asked for unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Ms. Hagevig complimented Mr. Dorn on the excellent dialog with the people at the public meeting on the 18th. She felt she heard a tone of optimism hearing this report. She asked if he felt we had a better, more realistic chance of actually solving the problem or did he still feel there would always be some part of this problem. Mr. Dorn said he thought there were things that could be done that would significantly improve the situation and those things could be identified and costs would be associated. He felt there could be significant improvements made to part of the process that would result in less odors. He did not want to give it a white wash and say by doing these things there would not be another word of complaint; that would not happen. He said his perception was that it was pretty bad and pretty frequent out there. The people realize they live next to a treatment plant but if the odor could be cut back it might be tolerable. It would not be possible to limit the odors 100% of the time. Ms. Hagevig asked how he felt now about the potential for adding to the capacity out there. Mr. Dorn said the plant had more capacity and anything that was done as part of these improvements would need to anticipate that future need. He thought the decanter replacement would be equivalent to putting a new motor in a car; it is a critical component to the process.
Mr. Perkins clarified there had been several design changes in the technology of decanters and he asked how long they had been around. Mr. Dorn said the new improved decanters had also gone through evolution and within the last five to six years these decanters have been deemed pretty solid. Mr. Perkins asked if there was any federal grants or dollars for upgrading treatment plants to new technology standards. Mr. Dorn said there was in the past but there is not any longer. He said there was State revolving loan fund money that may be available for work like this and possibly state grants. Mr. Perkins asked if it would be in the scope of his contract to make those kinds of suggestions. Mr. Dorn said it would be outside the scope, but the Public Works Dept. was real familiar with those grants. Mr. Mueller said the decanter project was being funded with a low interest Alaska Clean Water Fund revolving loan. They were also trying to apply for preliminary approval for other Clean Water Act revolving loan funds and have asked the state to put the city on the list for grant funding. They recognize this odor problem is high priority for grant funding with DEC.
Mr. MacKinnon asked the number of decanter replacements. Mr. Dorn said there were eight SBR tanks, four decanters per tank. There were currently 32 and they would be replaced with one decanter per tank. He said they were fiberglass and had a little stainless steal spring-loaded pocket valve. It closes when there is no head differential. Mr. MacKinnon said there had been discussion about trucking the sludge more often to the JD Plant. Mr. Dorn said they were looking at some process that would allow keeping the sludge fully aerated all the time, without having to turn the air off and having it settle and become anaerobic. They would try to thicken the sludge from 1% up to 4%, which may make less than 20,000 gallons of sludge. That would be a couple of tank truck loads per day to the JD Plant and would be relatively the same amount of truck traffic as is happening now with the dewatered sludge.
Mr. Powell said he was looking forward to the final and draft reports, and would like copies of each and maybe and update presentation.
Administrative Report: Mr. Mueller said that with Capital Transit, there was a larger demand for service than was available with the number of leased buses to the city. It has been a real struggle to maximize responsiveness for the public demand.
Mr. Palmer noted that last week there was a brainstorming meeting with the employees of Capital Transit and they came up with 55 items. The group represented 137 years with Capital Transit.
Mr. Kern, the Transit Manager, explained that out of the 55 items, they were able to reduce it to five priorities: 1) implementation of the Capital Transit Development Plan (CTDP), the executive summary was included in the packet; 2) better communication between drivers and mechanics; 3) half hour service; 4) express bus on weekends; and 5) eliminate backing. They established working groups to come up with an action plan for each of the priorities. He referred to the status report included in the packet and presented overlays explaining those items in further detail.
Mr. Kibby said he thought the need had been identified, but he wanted to see the costs and what could be done right away without additional cost. Mr. Kern said the suggestions were very broad range but for no. 1, the executive summary included a cost breakdown; no. 2 was not a cost item; no. 3 was part of the implementation of the CTDP but there were different ways to do half hour service. No. 3 and 4 were cost items and involve more service. No. 5 involves two areas where the bus is backed up, one at the corner by St. Ann’s and, two, by the jail. It would probably not be a cost item for operation, but it would cost to put a turn around in as number one could involve a 80 foot diameter cul-de-sac and discussion with the jail may involve buying property from the jail. A lot of the remaining 50 items could be done with out impact to Capital Transit. The Capital Transit Safety Review Committee was looking at the Code of Conduct and they were seeing that with increasing passenger loads, it was more difficult for the drivers to intervene on behalf of the passenger. They have been considering publishing the code of conduct and making sure that everyone on the bus knows what accepted behavior is. This would also involve the JPD. He said that Christianson Communication had agreed to work with staff, almost pro bono, to help with communication. He hopes to develop a pamphlet similar to the schedule and said there would be placards in full view on the buses.
Mr. Perkins asked about physically challenged and elderly people. Mr. Kern said that was something that has become more difficult to deal with as ridership has increased. Mr. Perkins said by the exit doors on the Metro in Washington DC was a reserved sign over the seat for physically challenged or elderly. Mr. Kern said that currently the first six seats in every bus were reserved and have that designation. There is also a statement in the schedule that those seats are reserved and what is expected.
Ms. Hagevig asked if the drivers had had occasion to use the communication with JPD recently. Mr. Kern said it had been a real blessing and they had been allowed to use JPD’s frequency for the past 6-8 years. They have used it to report accidents, or when there have been problems with certain passengers. Ms. Hagevig did not think it would take long for the word to circulate that these kinds of enforcements would be swift and sure, and that the rules for riding the bus would be consistently enforced. Mr. Kern said with page two of the Code of Conduct, they want to make it clear to passengers about the use of JPD and the expected behavior.
Mr. Powell referred to page 11 of the Development Plan, the budget. The operating subsidy was $1.7M and then it ramps up consistently with a big jump in 2002. He asked if those were realistic numbers or was there hope to get more from the State or the Feds to help with the burden. Mr. Kern said the numbers were realistic, however, they have looked at implementing this for two fiscal years and have been unable to achieve that level of funding. They were now looking at coming up with a way of implementing this in a staged fashion. They were looking at restructuring the entire system which would be hard to do incrementally, but they would try to come to the Assembly with incremental requests.
Mr. Powell asked if he had looked at other ways of achieving these ends such as privatization of some of the services. Mr. Kern said they were looking at privatization in smaller way including contracting out a lot of the maintenance for Care-A-Van. Care-A-Van was another example of a non-profit partnership that had been developed and has helped contain costs. Mr. Powell asked if he had examined contracting with the tourist-related buses in the off-season to help with the express routes. Mr. Kern said years ago they used them when they ran short of buses, but the problem now is not really capital, but funding the operational costs such as fuel, tires and drivers.
Mr. Kibby asked what monetarily, did they need, to meet the demand today. Mr. Kern was not prepared to put forth a budget proposal. There was a number of things being considered and he gave one example of lowing the cost could be to have more Care-A-Van service in the summer months, moving those riders from the overcrowded situation. Hiring another Care-A-Van driver in the summer for the peak times could be done for $25-30,000. Mr. Kibby asked if there were certain variables that could not be identified or could incrementally be fit through different dollars. Mr. Kern said demand had been identified at certain levels and those figures were included on the table in the report. Looking at that shows where the need is. What they have been trying to do to date is make sure that everyone gets to where they want to go. Their response has been directed at trying to insure that no one gets left behind at the bus stop. The first table showed how crew shuttles had helped to improve that since June.
Mr. Perkins referred to the comment of privatization and said he did not know of a private public transit system beside taxis and shuttles. He did not feel it would in any way benefit the ridership.
Mr. Koelsch asked what percentage of Juneau’s population rides the bus regularly. Mr. MacKinnon referred to a report that was done years ago. He said it was not so important the percentage of Juneau’s population that rides it, but the demographics of that ridership and the average family income of that ridership was about 1/3 of the average family income of Juneau. Mr. Kern said that everyone uses the bus system in the way that meets their needs. A telephone survey was done about ten years ago, which determined that every household within the community had at least one person who used the bus during that year. The range of impacted households is great. Mr. Koelsch asked how many use it regularly as their only means of transportation. Mr. Kern said the average daily ridership was from 2,700 – 3,000 boardings per day; some round trips and some one way. Mr. Kibby said it was identified in the Assessment for the Transportation Plan as 5%.
Mr. Koelsch then asked why Park ‘N Ride was dropped. Mr. Kern said the Park ‘N Ride was a single purpose service, dating back to construction of the parking garage. In the sense that the industry recognizes the Park ‘N Ride, it was not a Park ‘N Ride but it did function in that fashion and people responded. They worked with Glacier Cinema to make one trip each morning from their lot, returning to the lot with one route in the afternoon. A lot of people walked to the lot and there was costs involved in that the CBJ was maintaining the Glacier Cinema lot in the winter time as well as providing liability protection for them on their lot. It was cut as part of a much larger reduction in transit service that occurred.
Ms. Hagevig asked about not parking in cruise ship terminal in the summer time. She thought it would be logical if they removed the terminal from one of the problem areas, it would follow that more seats on the bus would be available automatically for local people. Mr. Kern said the CTDP included the idea of transit centers Downtown and in the Mendenhall Valley. They were looking at setting up a facility for not only focusing transit, but providing a facility for the drivers to take their layovers over by the Juneau Motor Parking Lot. It would be curbside and the route would be restructured through downtown. It was submitted to the State and included in the STIP with $50,000 this year for conceptual design and $150,000 next year for some sort of construction. The buses would no longer go to the Cruise Ship facility. Ms. Hagevig asked if there was any money in T-21 that covers these kinds of facilities. Mr. Kern said there should not be a large operational cost and the capital cost should be fundable under T-21.
Mr. Powell said he was encouraged by the presentation, but he was frustrated by how transportation was viewed as a community. He was also frustrated that there were so many demands on each dollar of the communities, and said it was hard to justify millions of dollars going into mass transit that serve a small percentage of the community. He felt it could be justified, but there needed to be an analysis showing why it made sense. There are parking problems, congestion problems, wear and tear on road and these need to be looked at in a comprehensive way. This is just one piece of the puzzle as far as transportation problems. This could be fixed for the current demand with some dollars, but he sees so much else happening with transportation that it was hard to justify without looking at the whole picture.
Mr. Kern referred to appendix D, Crowding on Bus, which showed on the bottom graph, the times when buses exceed 60, 80 and 100 passengers. The minimum that might be done to meaningfully impact the service would be to look at putting on half-hour service from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on the Mendenhall Valley route only. That could be done with two full time drivers. If that were done Monday through Saturday it would actually add up to 12 shifts a week which would mean something additional to two full time drivers. There would also be a need to provide for the lunch relief of those drivers, fuel, tires, and all that would cost approximately $160 – 170,000 a year. He added that they were currently short staffed in maintenance and he had been asking for an increased maintenance staff for a number of years. He would be reluctant to commit the system to providing those two additional full time buses without additional maintenance time also. To actually have a meaningful impact, it could cost in the range of $220,000. He said he would be happy to come back with a formal proposal. This would be a significant increase in service and it could mean half hour service from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Mendenhall Valley route year round. It would not include Douglas, Sunday service or evening service, but it would address the most serious problem. The other thing it would do would help even out the loads and reduce the passenger loads on each bus, giving people more opportunities to use the bus.
Mr. Powell asked if he thought people in the community would be willing to go to a centralized area and park their car, get on an express bus to downtown, and come back at a frequency of every half hour. Mr. Kern said that Juneau was different in that the industry tells us that our commute is too short to really pull people into a Park ‘N Ride. Most people are looking at less than 40 minutes commute time and this would ask them to park in a lot at mid-point of their trip, transfer to the bus and then proceed downtown. There needed to be a larger constraint than the commute time. The difficulty in parking may make it more successful, but the consultants doing the CTDP said the short commute would be an impediment to a Park ‘N Ride. Mr. Powell said it would be imperative to do incentives and disincentives as part of the whole program.
Mr. MacKinnon liked the idea of $220,000 and he thought two additional buses could take care of a lot of the problems during those time periods. Mr. Kern said he did not know if there were a lot of other ideas in that price range. Mr. MacKinnon noted that that would bump the subsidy up to about $2M per year.
Mr. Mueller noted that the current crowding adversely affects the ability to reach out to people and provide a service. Ms. Hagevig said that this presumes that the majority of people who we want to encourage to ride the bus go from point A to point B everyday and that they are very systematic in how they organize their lives. The reality is that a lot of people go to and from work and make numerous stops that are done with a car. There is a huge majority of family people in the community that a Park ‘N Ride would not help.
Mr. Powell did not presume that lots of people fit this mold, but that there were some being left out that could benefit. Unless there were more people on mass transit, the city would be building wider Egan Drives and creating more problems downtown.
Mr. Kern stated they would be coming back to the Assembly with regard to their fiscal 2000 budget for capital transit. Mr. MacKinnon clarified short of a mid-year appropriation, there really was not much, other than a few items on the list, that could be done for the next six months. Mr. Kern said he was interested in what would be happening with the drivers and their recently established groups.
Mr. Perkins said implementing the code of rider conduct would help some of the concerns that had been expressed. Regarding the FY 2000 budget, to put the half-hour ridership on the mainlines would be approximately $220,000 and would include five positions: two full time drivers, two part time shifts and a mechanic. He asked if the revenue had increased with the overcrowding. Mr. Kern said that actually revenues had declined and his theory was that as the buses become more and more crowded, we are left with people who are more likely to pay with tokens, monthly passes or are elderly or disabled, for which there is no charge. On that basis, they are getting less revenue from more passengers. He noted that Juneau could be very proud to have a transit system that most communities would envy. Capital Transit has been cited as exemplary as an effective transit system. We have more service than people have in Anchorage in terms of hours of service and service availability.
Mr. MacKinnon noted that the Attorney had expressed a desire to post pone his evaluation until there were at least one or two more Assemblymembers present. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
B R E A K
10:15 p.m. – 10:25 p.m.
Mr. Corso reported that the Police Station Protest would be heard by the Bidding Review Board in Monday the 14th. The ordinance establishing the board provides that there must be a lawyer on the board and in this case, an attorney would be a valued addition because this was a complicated and technical matter. Several of the parties involved in the protest have expressed their desire that the lawyer slot be filled, and despite efforts by the Clerk’s Office, it has gone empty. For this appeal, he was able to get a volunteer, Mr. John Tillinghast of Simpson, Tillinghast, Sorensen and Lorensen. In order to make it official, he asked the Assembly to appoint Mr. John Tillinghast as a member pro tem of the Bidding Review Board for the purpose of hearing the Police Station protest.
MOTION – by Hagevig to appoint Mr. John Tillinghast as a member pro tem of the Bidding Review Board for the purpose of hearing the Police Station protest next Monday. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mr. Corso noted that this issue was generating a number of phone calls and he cautioned the Assembly that it could wind up in front of the Assembly in the form of an appeal. It was necessary to obtain objectivity and politely decline to discuss the matters of the case.
1. Standing Committees:
a) Committee of the Whole – Mr. MacKinnon said there was no meeting scheduled for December. Ms. Hagevig asked to have a few items added to the list for January or February’s agendas. The Harbor Board wanted time to discuss the masterplan. The Tourism Advisory Committee would like to bring their survey results along with the representative from the McDowell Group for a presentation.
b) Finance Committee – Mr. Perkins said there would be a meeting for several action items: the Airport CIP funding, the GHS request, the sewer rate review, sales tax on artists and performers, Planning Commission stipend, William Committee presentation, Capital Focus request and the Gavel to Gavel increase of funding. There would be several other information items on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. He added to the Revised Pending List the League of Women Voters of Juneau’s request to place their survey on the agenda.
c) Human Resources Committee – Ms. Hagevig reported that the meeting originally scheduled for today was postponed until the 21st at 6:30. Ms. Miller added that the agenda would include some liquor licenses and one committee appointment. The rest would be for discussion at the first meeting of January, on the 4th.
d) Lands & Resources Committee – Mr. Kibby stated they would be meeting Wednesday the 9th, room 211, at noon to discuss the gravel pit budget and review the Draft Land Management Plan, including an ordinance.
e) Public Works & Facilities Committee – Ms. Hagevig reported that meeting was postponed until the Tuesday the 22nd at noon.
2. Board Liaison Reports
Mr. Koelsch reported that there was a workshop for High School overcrowding on the 8th in the boardroom at the Board of Education. He thought they wanted public participation.
Mr. Perkins noted that as the liaison to the Hospital Board, last month he attended the meeting and they toured the new facilities being built. The project is on time and under budget right now. In addition, he toured the Bartlett House and he thought it was a very nice facility and was something to be proud of.
Mr. Koelsch commented that one of the amazing parts of living in Juneau again showed up this Thanksgiving with the Salvation of Army, the Hanger, Jovany’s and St. Vincent DePauls. He thought this was an amazing community to take care of people. He referred to the letter regarding cigarette smoke at the airport. He spoke with Mr. Miller and Mr. Palmer and it was his understanding that Mr. Miller was formulating a response. Mr. Miller was in the audience and said it was on the December 9th agenda of the Airport Board. Mr. Koelsch asked for discussion on lobbying and lobbyists on the state and federal level. Mr. MacKinnon said it would possibly be scheduled for the 21st.
Mr. Perkins thanked Mr. Palmer and staff for getting together the position vacancy figures that he requested. Those figures would be shared at a Finance meeting. He added that he had been asked by the Mayor to meet with the New Zealand Consulate General who was in town. He passed the thank you letter he received to the City Clerk for distribution.
Mr. Kibby asked if there would be any objection to his working with Mr. Corso on a few subjects out at the Airport. He said there appeared to be some legal questions in regards to conflicts of our tax code with the FAA. There had also been questions in regards to property tax, sales tax, and flowage fees. He did not think it would take days, but it would take some time with Mr. Corso and they would respond in writing to the Assembly. He hoped to be addressing any conflicts in regard to the Airport Board and some of the directions they were looking at. Mr. Powell asked that as the liaison to the Board, that he be kept informed. Mr. Kibby invited him to work together with them.
Ms. Hagevig reminded everyone to be sure to look at the Harbor Board Masterplan. She thought it was very complete and that work would continue. She said she had received several phone calls about people parking in handicapped parking places that were not handicapped identified. She requested Mr. Palmer pass on to the JPD to keep a keener eye on that and do whatever can be done to be more visible in that area. She referred to those businesses required to have handicapped parking on private property and she asked if CBJ had any enforcement authority. Mr. Corso stated that parking in violation of a handicapped parking sign was an infraction of the municipal code and could be enforced by CBJ, even on private property. He noted that it had to be properly posted. Ms. Hagevig asked if CBJ waits for a complaint or if the management of the establishment was required to keep track of it. Mr. Corso said the problem was that even a citation for a parking violation was more difficult than most people thought. It was best to work with the merchant to identify the perpetrator and issue a citation. The merchant should call him or the JPD to figure out the right way to do that. Ms. Hagevig went on to report that JCBB had their annual meeting and Mayor Egan received a special award at that meeting. All of the people who worked on the MAKO conference were also recognized at that meeting. She thanked Mr. Corso for his quick response to her question about animal ordinances and she asked if CBJ had any information about what other communities do with respect to cats. Mr. Corso said he did not have any. She asked Mr. Palmer if that would be expensive to acquire and he said he would see what he could find. Ms. Hagevig felt that Mr. Owen had a very valid complaint and she thought it was worth conversation toward solutions.
Mr. Powell said this Saturday, he and Mr. Garrett did a site visit to private property on North Douglas which was another incident of up-hill disturbance and poor drainage. He informed Mr. Palmer and Mr. Corso that when the Assembly starts visiting and responding to complaints and possible solutions, he would be calling them. This particular landowner did not want to take legal action and he knew that the Division of Governmental Coordination was reviewing this and were coordinating the agency comments on that issue. He suggested looking at the ordinances that oversee drainage. Mr. Corso said it was possible to improve the design of existing system and that would be worth looking at. He said two things worth keeping in mind were that no single member of the Assembly could speak for the body unless authorized to do so, and so any discussion had to be very tentative. Secondly, the best rule of thumb was to just listen and observe and take good notes and be very careful about making any promises. Mr. Powell said that if there was development that occurs and it is under permit by the city, he would like to make sure there was proper follow up that the conditions of the permit were followed. Mr. MacKinnon suggested he speak with Mr. Buck.
Mr. MacKinnon noted that the latest issue of Sports Illustrated had a half page devoted to Carlos Boozer. He also congratulated Ms. Hagevig on her new position. Ms. Hagevig said that once the city was through with the Bid Review Board activity with respect to the Police Station, she respectfully submit that it might be time to sit down and take a look at the bidding procedures again and see if there was anything that could be done to streamline them. She suggested looking at what other communities and some State agencies were doing.
Mr. MacKinnon referred to the memo from the Finance Department on Sales Tax delinquencies. He said the list was bigger than the end of September, by about $30,000. One of the delinquent filers amounts to almost 50% of the total delinquency, over $100,000. He noted it was a pull tab operation and that it was very difficult to go and shut them down when they were not remitting sales tax. He thought if there was a local license requirement, it might make collection of these monies a little easier. Ms. Hagevig said it was her understanding that the State of Alaska, the legislature or some entity would be taking a look at restructuring all games of chance and skill situations. Mr. MacKinnon thought that if they did revise the licensing requirements in the State, it would be nice if they did a similar thing as is done for liquor licenses, where applicants have to get local approval in order for that license to be renewed on an annual basis. That way it would have a strong tendency to decrease the delinquency. Mr. Powell said the Dept. of Revenue would start enforcing their tax on charities.
Deputy Mayor MacKinnon
Marian Miller, Clerk