THE CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU, ALASKA
October 21, 1998
MEETING NO. 98-34: The Special Meeting of the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly, held in the Assembly Chambers of the Municipal Building, was called to order at 12:10 p.m. by Mayor Dennis Egan.
Assembly Present: Mayor Egan, MacKinnon, Powell, Garrett, Kibby, Muñoz, Perkins, and Koelsch
Assembly Absent: Hagevig
A quorum was present
Staff Present: Marian Miller, Municipal Clerk; John Corso, City Attorney; Dave Palmer, City Manager; Kelly Grant, Clerk’s Office; Donna Pierce, Deputy City Manager; Joe Buck, Engineering Director; Cheryl Easterwood, Community Development Director; John Kern, Transit Manager
Mr. Palmer stated he would like to delete C-1, the bid award on the Police Station, as there were two notices of protest filed. Protests were due by the close of business on Monday and so until the protests arrive, he would not have a recommendation.
Mr. Bill Garry, a member of the audience, asked for the removal of item B-1.
MOTION - by MacKinnon, to adopt the Consent Agenda with the exception of item B-1 and item C-1, and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
A. Ordinances for Introduction
1. Ordinance No. 98-34
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE 96-09 TO ALLOW THE ATTORNEY TO CONVERT UNUSED PERSONAL LEAVE TO CASH.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be introduced and set for public hearing at the next regular meeting.
B1. Resolution No. 1955
A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE FISCAL YEAR 2000-2002 CBJ TRANSPORTATION NEEDS LIST, TO BE USED BY THE STATE OF ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC FACILITIES TO PREPARE THE STATEWIDE TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this resolution be adopted.
Bill Garry, State Parks, testified that his Department had a project they were nominating for the STIP that improved the trail from Amalga Harbor, which abuts the Smith property that the CBJ had just purchased, and crosses Eagle River to Eagle Beach. He said it was a major $4.6M project that they would be nominating. It would include improvements to the Greening cabin, making it available to the public, and would coincide quite well with the CBJ’s masterplan for the Smith property. He wanted to make sure the Assembly was aware State Parks would be submitting this, and he said in the months to follow he would be coming back thought the PRAC, the Lands Committee and whatever other committees were necessary to request a resolution in favor of this particular project. He felt the project had a lot of merit and said there was a recent bond portion, $150,000, that was to go towards exactly what they were proposing to do. They may be able to blend the projects together quite well.
Mr. Perkins asked if he was asking the Assembly to submit this with the City’s STIP proposal, as another piece. Mr. Garry said at this time, he felt it was premature to submit the plans. He wanted to go through the process and make sure everyone knew about it. He added that he did believe the $150,000 would be a very advantageous way to get this project a high score.
Mr. Perkins clarified it was premature now, but that it was not too late, as the process continues, to dovetail these projects. Mr. Garry said that was correct, they could go through the process later on to make sure these recommendations come together before the scoring occurs.
Nancy Waterman, 227 Gastineau Avenue. She testified that during the second week of October, she attended in Portland Oregon, a Transportation and Land Use Plan Conference. She said it was a wonderful experience and she had several projects that she wanted to share. She had a couple specific requests on the Needs List. First, the Community Transportation Program, it seemed to her that the Douglas Highway Safety and Efficiency Improvements and the Glacier Highway/Anka Street intersection improvements should be moved to priority one and two. She felt that would reflect some of the studies that had been done and some of the intensity of use, especially at the intersections of those areas. She felt the city had a commitment to previous studies to prioritize projects on the STIP reflecting the community importance of those. The Second Channel Crossing, she felt, should be number three. She said the study assessment of the two-year areawide transportation study would include public participation and a lot of information about the second crossing and how it would fit into the big picture of the community transportation program. On the TRAAK program, it looked to her like the projects ranked four and five, improving non-motorized transportation paths along several roads in the valley area, especially the Nugget Mall commercial area, are really kind of linked together. No. four was the primary loop and no. five looked like it was a segment of a second loop that really goes from Glacier Highway to Yandukin, to Shell Simmons and back to Glacier Highway. She hoped that loop would be recognized in the prioritization. She added that it was very confusing to call it USFS to Glacier and suggested that wording be changed. She said that in recognition of proposition three’s passage, priority eight, the Treadwell Ditch Trail, really was an opportunity where there was USFS and CBJ ownership along with CBJ funding committed to improving that. She hoped in the process of putting this into a resolution, that the appropriate forms were also filled out so that DOT recognized there was a community commitment and funding to see this project go forward. Item 13 on the list, improvements at the High School overpass, may no longer need to be on the list and she asked staff to explain why it was still on the list. Item 16, again recognizing that proposition three was passed, she believed was probably more appropriately funded by that proposition than as a transportation item. She asked staff to consider whether it should remain on the list or be removed. On the Transit Section, she said she confirmed that the Assembly had already passed a resolution recognizing the importance of a Main Street/Downtown Transit Center and that it was already in the process with some funding for design work in FY99 and construction work in FY2000. Likewise, the bus passenger shelters were in a similar situation. She added that the Downtown Transit Center scored 104.2 on the State list. Bus passenger shelters received the resolution of the city in the past, and scored 97.6 with design/construction scheduled for FY 2000. Complimenting that, she thought, was the Nugget Mall Transit Center. Currently, it was listed no. seven on the priority list and she felt it should move to priority one. The other items should just move down one. She felt that would reflect the work that had been done in the Capital Transit Five Year Plan.
Mr. Powell thanked her for her review of the list. He asked that if she received material at the conference, would she provide a copy of it for the Assemblymembers. She said she would be glad to share what she had and that she felt an advisory committee might serve the community and the Assembly very well.
Mr. Garrett complimented Ms. Waterman on always being very thoughtful in her review of these items. He said it was nice to have people come speak that had thought carefully about what it was they have to say and present coherent, rational arguments.
MOTION – by Muñoz, to move resolution 1955 with the following amendment:
There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Under the TRAAK program, she asked about Old Dairy Road being used instead of USFS. Mr. Garrett thought that it would make more sense to be the whole road and not be described as the Forest Service Headquarters to the intersection. Mr. MacKinnon said there was an explanation in the text and he thought it may be appropriate to elaborate more on the brief description of the project. Mr. Powell said there was a need to know if the intent was to run it from the Forest Service Offices or not. That was what was in the description and maybe both the nomination sheet and the short description needed to be changed.
Ms. Easterwood said the Parks and Recreation Director submitted this and Ms. Easterwood was not sure of the intent. She said that Ms. Keifer did included in the nomination form, the statement that this project was included in the non-motorized transportation plan on page 64. Perhaps language could be expanded to conform to that project.
Mr. Powell suggested leaving out USFS offices and have it rum the length of the Old Dairy Highway. He referred to the brief description of the project which said "Construct a six-foot wide shoulder lane from Glacier Highway along Old Dairy Road." Mr. MacKinnon referred to the map on the Non-Motorized Transportation Plan, which showed an existing shoulder lane from the vicinity of Yandukin to what appeared to be the vicinity of the USFS.
Mr. Powell withdrew his amendment so it would be consistent with the Plan. He said it should be left as it was. Mr. MacKinnon suggested adding to the brief description "consistent with the Non-Motorized Transportation Plan." Mr. MacKinnon did not feel the need for a motion it if was understood that it coordinates with another plan.
MOTION - by Muñoz, that under the Community Transportation Program, the Douglas Highway Safety and Efficiency Improvement project be moved to the No. 1 position and that the Glacier Highway/Anka Street intersection be moved to No. 2, moving the second Channel Crossing to No. 3.
Mr. Koelsch said this went through the Planning Commission and Public Works and he asked what was the reasoning for ranking one, two and three. Mr. Garrett said this particular issue was discussed in the Public Works Committee, and it was fair to say that it was one of the few issues discussed that they did not all agree on right away. He said the prevailing group felt that putting the second crossing in the first position was a bit of a political statement of our perceived priority to it. In reality, as you can see from the list, projects two and three are the only projects that DOT has currently considered high enough in priority to even give them a score and get them to a point where they might actually be constructed any time in the near future. In the process of determining the STIP, they rate projects on many different pieces. One piece is how highly the community scores the project. If the community says it is a high priority and they are willing to put money into it to help build it, that gets it more points. If the city will then maintain it after it is built, that gets it even more points. Just an opinion on a project is not as valuable to its rating as the involvement in the project. The motivation behind this process was so that there was a base document that would allow the city to make decisions on how things should be boosted. Until then, this project and the Juneau Access Project are sitting in the positions from a perceived need of politically calling them out as major needs. Not from our belief that putting it as number one it will get built or designed next year. Priority four is as low of priority as DOT can give something in the potential construction process. Those of us who supported it in this position were making a public statement that we thought that additional access to Douglas Island was a priority.
Mayor Egan stated that last year he received a call from the Commissioner asking why the Assembly moved the second Channel Crossing from no. one to no. four. He was concerned the city was no longer supporting the project.
Ms. Muñoz said that any one of the positions on the list, whether one or ten, are considered top priorities for the community. If it is no. three, it is still a top priority; it is just not the very most important project in the community. Obviously, the Douglas Highway is a very important area because it is currently unsafe and needs to be reconstructed. She thought the Assembly could, by placing the Channel Crossing at no. three, not take away perceived support but recognize that the Douglas Highway was more important right now than building a second channel crossing.
Mr. MacKinnon objected to the motion.
Mr. Kibby said that the Assembly was on record in support of the resolution for the West Juneau Development, the road extension and development into that area. DOT made presentations showing that there were other safety concerns that would be taken care of. Regardless of perception that this is on top, it stands higher in the rating if you can show other deficiencies within the community that this would alleviate. The other ones would be taken care of before the second crossing because they were problems. He thought it would show a good faith effort, with the West Douglas improvements being proposed, to leave it as number one. Mr. MacKinnon thought the same rational for keeping the Juneau Access Improvements as number on the National Highway List, just to show it is an important priority for the community.
nays: Kibby, Koelsch, MacKinnon, Perkins, Powell, Garrett, and Mayor Egan
Mr. Perkins referred to item 15 on the Community Transportation List and asked if there had been any discussion with the public about the extension of Riverside Drive to the north end to the Back Loop Road. Mr. Garrett said that in the Public Works Committee, they had extensive discussions on this issue. This was one of the areas that would be highlighted in the planning process when they go and do their neighborhood focuses. Mr. Perkins asked if there had been anything with the public yet. Mr. Garrett said that would occur with the Areawide Transportation Steering Committee. The public hearing would be in the Valley with the people who live in the area. Mr. Perkins said it went from priority no. four, when there was still not discussion with the public, and dropped to fifteen. Mayor Egan explained that priority four was DOT’s rating, they were all priority four.
Mr. Perkins clarified it was all in the discussion process and would not be going anywhere this year. Mr. Garrett said there was a study that was done that analyzed different alternatives but Public Works had not come to a conclusion on the consensus amongst the neighbors as to whether or not putting Riverside Drive straight through would be the best solution. Mr. Perkins said he would like to encompass the whole design, or redesign, of Riverside Drive and the future use of Riverside Drive; as it exists right now, and its future. He said there was a lot of potential for that whole area and he would object to starting on one end, unless there was a complete process done from the north to south end of Riverside Drive.
Mr. Kibby said the transportation committee had just finished up with the consultant and the COW would be hearing that assessment. He said that was one of the concerns that were noted at the last meeting and it was definitely on the horizon. The public process would start shortly after the COW had heard the assessment report.
Ms. Muñoz said that under the TRAAK program, she wanted clarification on the pedestrian overpass improvements at the High School. She asked if it was necessary to keep that on the list. Ms. Easterwood was not able to provide a direct response but said she did go over the list with Mr. Keifer of Parks and Rec. Ms. Keifer did not understand why some of the items were on the list last year but she was reluctant to take anything off the list until she fully understood the project and what was being described. Ms. Muñoz thought the same might hold true for the Mt. Jumbo Trail.
Mr. MacKinnon asked Mr. Kerns about the Assembly’s decision to rearrange the Transit list to put the Nugget Mall Transit Center first. He noted the three new buses that were scheduled for 2002 and asked if their funding would be jeopardized by making the shift. Mr. Kerns did not feel qualified to answer that, but stated he knew replacement vehicles ranked high by the DOT scoring process. Mr. Kerns said that the city was offering to provide a local match, cover all operating costs and all maintenance costs for the life of the vehicle, and it was a replacement of an existing facility.
Mr. Powell asked Mr. Kerns the current number of buses with racks and how that was working. Mr. Kerns said that they had bike rack service on the express bus, which operates on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is no bike rack service in the evening or weekend and they would like to expand into those time frames. Mr. Kerns said that people were using the racks. Mr. Powell asked when the new racks would be installed. Mr. Kern said the installation would be an operational issue. He would not recommend putting bike racks on the regular route service of Capital Transit as there is potential for delays and it would increase the length of the bus in the downtown area. He said there might be ways to get around that and one of the things they considered was putting bike racks on local service but not allowing their use in the downtown area. That would limit the number of places to load and unload bicycles. Also, shorten the length in Downtown where there is already trouble in turn out areas.
There being no objection to Resolution 1955 as amended, it was so ordered.
Mr. Palmer said staff would know by Monday what protests had been filed on the Police Station. Engineering and Purchasing would work with the Law Department to come up with recommendations for the Assembly. If that is protested, it would then go to the Bid Review Board. Mr. Corso said depending on how complicated any protests where, the Law Department should be able to go through them in a week. Mr. Palmer said that all contractors have attorneys. The Purchasing Department likes to give everyone a week or two to respond, but Mr. Palmer had asked them to tighten that up in hopes that any responses would be received fairly quickly. It is entirely possible that it may take two weeks going back and forth getting documentation because everyone has to be given an opportunity. Mayor Egan asked if it would jeopardize the construction timeline. Mr. Palmer did not think it would and he thought staff could have through December to deal with the protest without seriously impacting the schedule. The schedule had been set up to allow the contractor the decision to start work in the fall or winter with some of the foundation work. Some contractors were talking about doing the work and others are talking about ordering everything so they would be ready to start in the spring.
Mayor Egan asked for an update on the mudslide situation. Mr. Palmer did not have a complete report from Public Works but said the city streets and facilities did real well. The drainage improvements in Linnellen Heights saved a lot of problems. The street reconstruction in White Subdivision held up pretty well with one problem on Wickersham. Most of the washouts occurred on the State Highway or on private property. One work truck actually got stuck in the mud on the street by Twin Lakes and before they could get the truck out, the bank washed away and washed the truck into the lake. The State worked on clearing that slide. There was also a slide on Fritz Cove Road that took out part of the road and pushed a house down hill. Waterlines were a concern but he had not heard of any problems with them. Staff provided a dump truck and driver to the State to help them. He asked Mr. Mueller to contact the State Division of Emergency Services to see if there was any money available and to see if an emergency had been declared. There had been damage again to the AWARE Shelter and staff was checking to see if there was any relief money available.
Mr. Powell asked for a report with information on North Douglas projects that were above the bench, and their effects on the houses and private property below, which he knew had suffered some damage. Some house owners had called him and he was wondering if those projects had been permitted. Maybe damage could be prevented in the future through the permitting.
Mr. Garrett agreed that the drainage from many of the projects had not been dealt with adequately in the process of giving them permits. The two major incidents on North Douglas, especially the one to the West of the Bridge, could have been handled by installation of a drainage pipe somewhat larger than the one that got washed out.
Mayor Egan asked if anyone objected to continuing the committee structure until the retreat. Everyone thought that would be a good idea.
MOTION – by MacKinnon that the Assembly carry the Committee Structure over, as it has been for the last year, until it can be discussed at the retreat on November 12, 1998. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mr. Powell clarified that November 12 at 5:00 had been scheduled for the retreat date and he asked who would all be attending. Mayor Egan said he picked that day because last year the retreat kept getting postponed and did not finally happen until mid-December.
Mr. Kibby said he was with staff from DOT and was informed that they were going to signalize Shell Simmons. DOT had been looking for another access to the airport and in doing so, they were planning to signalize Shell Simmons. In speaking with them, they said that they dropped pursuing that at this time because staff members within the city and the airport had not come to a conclusion as to whether or not they wanted that access. Mr. Kibby felt that if DOT was interested in looking at that and providing access across Jordan Creek, helping us with the environmental issues, they would be much better suited to handle that than the city. The quicker some of that area is opened up, the sooner the airport can lease or expand and make their project more viable. Consequently, he ask permission to ask staff to look into this and see if there was anyway to move the Airport Management to ascertain whether or not the opportunity exists to provide that access in the upcoming design.
Mr. MacKinnon clarified he was talking about a new access on the road in front of Lyles. He said there had been earlier discussion at the PW&F where a representative from DOT said what they were looking at now was closing off Shell Simmons Drive and making the access to the airport, in lieu of Shell Simmons, go down Jordan Avenue. He thought that would be a great new access as it reduces the number of streets coming out onto that old piece of Glacier Highway.
Mr. Kibby agreed and said what disturbed him was that the State pointed the finger at the city and said the city was responsible for stopping the project. He would like to see it moved forward. Mr. Palmer said this was the first he had heard of this and he would be happy to work with them.
Mr. Koelsch announced that the High School Campus School Facilities meeting would be November 4 at 5 p.m.
Mayor Egan said the Governor had offered to meet with anyone from the Assembly and Planning Commission on the 28th at 2 p.m. in the Aurora Room at the airport.
Marian Miller, Clerk