THE CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU, ALASKA
JUNE 21, 1999
MEETING NO. 99-20: 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 7:05 p.m. by Deputy Mayor MacKinnon.
Assembly Present: Garrett, Kibby, MacKinnon, Powell, Hagevig, Muñoz and Koelsch
Assembly Absent: Perkins and Egan
A quorum was present.
Staff Present: Marian Miller, Municipal Clerk; Dave Palmer, City Manager; John Corso, City Attorney; Chief Richard Gummow, JPD; Lt. Bob Fletcher, JPD, Chris Roust, Building Codes Official; Kim Kiefer, Parks and Rec. Director; Captain Mel Personnett, JPD; John Kern, Capital Transit; Donna Hatten, Executive Assistant; Donna Pierce, Deputy City Manager; Terese Regan, Clerk’s Office; Carol McCabe, Library Director; Judy Nobles; Maggie Ford, JPD; Sgt. Hernandez, JPD; Dave Miller, Airport Manager; Ernie Mueller, Public Works Director; Catherine Fritz, Chief Architect; Craig Duncan, Finance Director; and Mike Doyle, Fire Chief
MOTION – by Kibby, to approve the minutes of Regular Meeting No. 99-12, held April 5, 1999, and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
MOTION – by Kibby, to approve the minutes of Regular Meeting No. 99-15, held May 3, 1999, and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
MOTION – by Kibby, to approve the minutes of Special Meeting No. 99-16, held May 10, 1999, and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
MOTION – by Kibby, to approve the minutes of the Board of Equalization Meeting No. 99-17, held May 10, 1999, and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
SPECIAL ORDER OF BUSINESS
As Chief Gummow was retiring, this would be his last opportunity as Police Chief to report on the department. He recapped that he arrived in 1993 and they established four key goals: 1) to bring the police department closer to the people it serves by adopting a community policing philosophy and creating an opportunity for greater presentation or representation of women and minority police officers, and by placing positive emphasis on youth; 2) to increase professionalism through training and staff development, and develop staff to assume greater supervisory and management roles; 3) to increase minimum staffing levels to provide consistent police services to the community and a reasonable level of safety for our officers; and 4) to improve Police Department infrastructure including the police facility, equipment, fleet, radio telephone, and computer system. They had been working on the transition from a response driven organization to a community policing model and they felt it would be a ten year process involving education, training and redefining the very philosophy of service delivery. Staffing shortages in patrol did not allow time for problem solving or community policing and they continued to be driven to respond to call for services. They remain fully committed to their investment in youth and stress the importance of goals, direction, identity, values and consequences of actions. The officers work hard to stay involved and take part in the community and to get to know as many residents as possible. Many employees were quietly involved in service organizations, clubs and church groups focused on community and youth support. They were also making slow but steady progress in improving communication and trust within the various communities within the community. During the last two officer recruitments, they actively pursued minority and female candidates and feel they had been successful in their efforts to better diversify the department. The officer recruiting process was completely revised to better assess the candidates’ abilities, personalities, and attitudes in order to select the most qualified candidates who would be most likely to support and practice community policing in Juneau; only one in 20 applicants are hired as Juneau Police Officers. With regard to their second goal, they continue to make progress toward that end and have made great progress in creating a cadre of certified instructors within the department to provide ongoing instruction and certification for employees. He reviewed the long-range training and career development plan and noted that training intended to assist the employees in career development was extremely important because in that arena, future supervisors and managers were nurtured and developed. With regard to the third goal, he stressed the need to be very careful in the future. They were successful in obtaining a Department of Justice grant in 1994 and the resources gained from that grant were devoted to community policing and crime prevention activity. Upon conclusion of the grant, they were able to assign two police officers to investigations, and four remained involved in the school and youth with the focus on crime prevention. He stated that calls for service in 1998 reached an all time high of 33,634 calls for service, an increase of 5% from the previous year and up 21% since 1995. The nature and complexity of the crimes responded to and investigated had changed dramatically. With the increase in calls for service, also there was an unrelenting increase in the average response time to those emergency calls for service. They started in 1995 at 3 minutes and 42 seconds and in 1999, they arrived at 4 minutes and 55 seconds, a 33% increase. Officer availability for routine calls for service and follow up was growing more critical. They often experience delays of many hours, sometime days, in responding to non-emergency calls. The average patrol deployment and ratio of residents went from 1:3,700 in 1977 with a population of 18,600 and deployment, on average, of five troopers and police officers. In 1999, the population was about 32,000 and they deploy, on average, of four police officers per shift, with a ratio of 1:8,000 residents. They continue to find it necessary to augment minimum staffing levels with officers working overtime. Transition from a response organization to a community policing and problem solving organization is seriously impaired as officers have little or no time to resolve community problems or meet with citizens; officers were consistently working at capacity. The last goal has included a grueling five-year, $9.5M project. He encouraged all Assemblymembers to stop at the new station to see the progress that had been made. The second improvement in infrastructure was a new computer system, also a five-year project, which included a computer aided dispatch and records management system. The hardware was installed and employees were now receiving training in the use of the software. The second phase of the project, still unfunded, includes a mobile computing component which is where they expect to realize greater patrol officer efficiency as officers would be able to complete reports in the field and transmit them to supervisors for review and then on to records for quality control. The new area wide public safety radio system was a six-year project. The old system was designed for use in the downtown core area, but with additional area, during expansion in 1985 and 86, there was a need for a more reliable radio system which served the entire CBJ. The new system was nearly complete and provides greater than 90% transmission reliability; they started at less than 50% reliability. They are in the process of installing electrical power and radio repeaters on Saddle Mountain, a location that allows line-of-site to most of the inhabited portions of the borough. Finally, the 911 system was working very well, however, it would require some modifications to the system to insure Y2K compatibility. He then addressed some administrative and organizational changes that had occurred over the last six years. He said that overall, the department was responding well to organizational changes and has been quick to respond to increased leadership, responsibility and accountability. A very few employees have resisted change and some suggested that morale may be low. The observation may be true for the occasional dissatisfied employee, but was definitely not the case overall as morale was high in the department, employees work hard with very limited resources, produce an improving work product, remain committed to community service, and seldom complain about working conditions; they feel good about themselves and feel good about the department. He then read a brief excerpt from a letter of resignation that he recently received. He noted the department today had very little resemblance of the former department, and in many respects, they had reinvented the department from the ground up. As of July 1999, 73% of JPD employees had been hired within the last 5 years, or were employed in new positions including 70% of the police officers, 75% of the community service officers, 77% of communication staff, 86% of record staff and 100% of clerical support staff. He thought the areas that required continued attention were: increasing police officer staffing; continued development and training of management staff so that promotion within the department could occur; complete revision of the regulations and operations procedures; continued emphasis on hiring minorities, women and stable, balanced employees who have the temperament, knowledge, skills and ability to perform their assigned jobs; improving relationships with all members of the community; and continued commitment to working closely with youth. He made the decision to retire after 37 years of continuous police service and he said that serving the people of the CBJ had been the most gratifying and rewarding experience of his life and his decision was bittersweet.
Mr. MacKinnon read the proclamation into the record and presented Chief Gummow and his wife, Cynthia, with a gold pan. The Gummows received a standing ovation.
Mr. MacKinnon read the proclamation into the record and presented it to Ms. Blefgen in recognition of her dedicated service to the Gastineau Humane Society.
Mr. Northrip reported that eight of the nine committees that had been formed were up and organized and had held meetings. At today’s task force meeting, they received a presentation from the local phone system and compliance with the phone company and the electric company seemed to be well in hand. Under communications, the local radio stations were ready, even in the event of power failure, and local TV stations could get the Mayor on the air if necessary. There was one part of the 911 system that needed remediation, not the basic 911 system, which is compliant, but the part that identifies who the caller is. At today’s presentation, they were informed that that remediation would be done before the end of summer. He previously reported that the Juneau Airport had already operated for 12 hours straight without computers, and airplanes could land and take off, even if there were no computers available. The medical committee had sent out 97 surveys to all doctors, medical care agencies, and pharmacies and have had a 34% return. They were investigating the availability of prescriptions and obtaining an inventory of drugs locally; the committee was satisfied that adequate preparations were being made. The financial committee’s last meeting was May 4th and they heard reports from all the banks and all the other agencies. The committee did not plan any further meetings because without exception, all the institutions were ready. He pointed out that one of the greatest dangers of Y2K preparedness was public perception and that was one thing they would be working on from here on. The retail committee was conducting a fact survey of all the non-food retailers regarding their Y2K preparations and they were getting good feedback; none were unaware of Y2K. The food committee estimated that there may be as much as a 10-15% failure rate for transporting and delivering food after the first of the year. That would be an event no worse than a week of bad weather in Juneau in terms of food arrivals. They estimate that there is going to be heavier than usual food buying in Oct. – Dec. and they were already preparing for that in terms of bringing more supplies in so there would be plenty of food on hand. He said there was an estimated 18-day food stock on hand on any given day in Juneau in the grocery stores. The task force heard from Paloma O’Riley, a National Y2K authority, and Juneau was on track in terms of what she recommends for evaluation and preparation for Y2K. They were preparing for a town meeting to be held on July 31st at Centennial Hall from 10 – 3. It would be set up as a fair with nine separate locations, one for each of the task force committees, so people could visit and get information from each of the committees. The committee’s next meeting was scheduled for July 19th at noon in the Chambers.
Mr. Powell said the calls he received were medical in nature, and he asked what was the supply of insulin and other drugs that people were dependent upon. Mr. Northrip could not answer that because the medical committee survey was not complete yet. He said that nationally and internationally, the pharmaceutical companies had been preparing for this event for quite a while.
Kirby Day, 76 Egan Drive, reported on a number of motor coach issues. Princess was in the process of building a new motor coach and office facility on the rock dump, which they anticipated being ready this fall. It would have the effect of reducing the number of motor coaches into and out of town, in the beginning and end of the day, by approximately 7,500 in the summer of 2000. They looked forward to that in terms of trying to reduce some of the downtown traffic congestion. Secondly, back in November, Princess Line decided that they would voluntarily no longer utilize 12th Street, Calhoun Ave., in front of the Governor’s Mansion, for tours with 40’ motor coaches, only with the small vans or the 26’ mini-buses. Part of the reason for that was because of the tourism hotline last summer, and additionally, with the new Glacier Visitor’s Center, they believed the visitors would like to spend more time at the center. Finally, referring to the last meeting's concern over crew members riding city buses and stated that they were continuing to run a bus five days a week for crew members. At the current rate, they expect to transport about 5,000 crew members this summer, about 1,000 more than last summer. There were a number of other shuttles and cab drivers who were helping to alleviate the crunch.
Mr. Kibby asked if Grey Line would be following suit with regard to the crew shuttles. Mr. Day was not sure and said that the Princess shuttle was for any ship in town, not just Princess crew. He was not sure there would be enough people willing to run on a number of shuttles. Mr. Kibby asked if there was a reason to run two buses and Mr. Day said there had not been an occasion to yet this summer. Last summer they did run two buses on some occasions.
Ms. Muñoz said she had received a number of calls of concern with regard to the Marine Park Deck Over Project. She asked if, in his opinion, there was another site along the downtown waterfront that could serve the purpose of bus staging. Mr. Day said that in close proximity to the Alaska Steamship Dock, probably the only property that could have sufficed would have been the old Sealaska property but to his understanding that had been sold. There had been discussions over the years of the Coast Guard Facility and what to do with the docking facility there. He could not think of anything at this point, within close proximity, that would suffice. Ms. Muñoz said she saw the old Ferry Terminal Dock area as a potential location. There was an area very similar that could be decked over and the area already receives a lot of bus traffic. Mr. Day said that in one of the master plans, three or four years ago, a Joint Harbor Planning Committee looked at that area. It was not really out of the realm of possibility, but it possibly could not service two ships at one time. He felt that what was planned for Marine Park would be the best and most efficient way to move traffic through the area without creating more of an impact. It would actually reduce the impact in terms of buses actually having a place to go rather than having to circle downtown looking for a spot. Ms. Muñoz asked him and all of the Assemblymembers to look at that area because she felt there was potential to almost double the bus parking space at that site. The walkway coming from Marine Park to that area was less than a five-minute walk.
Mr. Powell clarified there was a plan for the waterfront area. Ms. Pierce said that the Harbor planned to do a waterfront master plan, but it was not complete yet. She said there had been various transportation studies in the past that looked at a number of different solutions regarding tourism traffic but the plan for the waterfront was not in place yet. Mr. Powell said he looked forward to that comprehensive plan and he asked that when the plan was up for review, what would the process be.
Aaron Brakel, 420 E. Street. He encouraged the Assembly not to put the issue of putting a road to Skagway on the ballot as it was very divisive. He thought it would be a popularity poll as there was no fiscal note attached.
Joe Geldhof, West Juneau, addressed the concept of putting the Juneau access on the ballot. He felt to put it on would be silly for a couple reasons as whatever happens in a vote like that would have no impact on the analysis required under the National Environmental Policy Act. In addition, it would become a lose-lose proposition for this community because however it came out, there would be a number of people who were disappointed. If it were voted down, people outside the community would say it was the usual suspects in Juneau who do not want to have access. There was a lot coming up in the community, including the High School, which a number of people were concerned with, and he urged the Assembly not to engage in this sort of senseless debate. If the Assembly really wanted to know, they should spend the money and have a survey done.
Mr. Kibby referred to Mr. Geldholf’s association with the passenger fee issue and he asked what changed the group’s mind to suddenly go to the initiative instead of going through the Assembly. Mr. Geldhof thought that people in the community had been waiting for about three years for the Assembly to wrestle this calf to the ground. The committee would love if the Assembly would come up with a reasonable proposal and enact it this year but people felt they could not wait any more. Mr. Kibby said one week he heard that they wanted to take a look at it and it was scheduled to do so. A few days later, there was an initiative before the Assembly and he asked what was the change of heart. Mr. Geldhof said there was no change of heart, it was an effort to prompt the Assembly. Mr. Kibby asked if the initiative was always part of the process and Mr. Geldhof said that if there were five people on the committee who felt there would be no problem with getting something on without delay, the initiative would not have been an issue.
Shane Williams, P.O. Box 211245 Auke Bay, Alaska. He testified that as of the last meeting two weeks ago, they asked for a few simple things. Their group kept to the four issues and turned in language that they felt completely separated them from the shuttle industry or the shuttle industry from them implicitly; there was no skepticism, no vagueness or deviation. It also took into account the statement made by Mr. Palmer that schedules were non-enforceable. Mr. Williams said that Mr. Palmer had the discretion and could take the discretion of not having to enforce schedules but still include them. Their basis was having to have a schedule, routes, stops and it had to be posted. The insertion of the language that Mr. Garrett did at the last reading, before it went to the public, allowed for a shuttle industry operating out of the Airport to have in excess of 137 stops available to them; that is a cab. They were doing it on call and demand, by dispatch and impromptu service. He thought the language would take care of a lot of the problems being faced within the industry. The Enforcement Officer, in his understanding, would not be in place until the first part of August, though the regulations would be in effect July 8th. They also included language in their letter that would allow the availability for the marking to be consistent with the language in both the ordinance and the regulations. It kept all the taxicabs to their color and their particular groups and allowed language for the top lights to have specific wording on it, either taxicab, cab or the cab company name. They also asked that the inclusion of compensatory advertisement be allowed within the cab industry again as it was under the previous ordinance and requested the entire removal of all the late fees from the cab industry, specifically so. Cabs are operating 365 days a year and this requirement left him in a quandary because it was one of the areas he addressed very specifically and he thought it would be beneficial. When being brought before him and before other groups of the Association, it came back that this was going to be detrimental at the high peak times. If they had high peak times in late April or early May, there would not be a way to put them on beneficially, in a sense of putting them on quickly and easily, it was going to cost too much. Currently, under the present fee schedule in the proposed regulations and the ordinance, just the base amount, they would provide 50% of the operating budget for the CPV, inclusive of even having the fees included, they would be providing that much already. They also asked that the taxi rates have a review period in place, in both the ordinance and the regulation, so that at least every 18 months, the cab industry, being the drivers, could come in, possibly 90 days prior, and request a change of fares, to have them reestablished and allowing for public notice and other things that may be taken into account. That would give the drivers some leeway to change should there be a problem or an increase in the gas price of a dollar, a huge hike in the insurance rates, or different things that they would have to take into account. The language was pretty specific as far as the shuttles on the ordinance, it was directly pulled out of the document that was provided to the Assembly on April 2nd at a proposed CPV Regulation release date of March 3rd. The draft was 3/3/99 – 4/2/99 by Mr. Corso. The only addition is language on operations.
Ms. Muñoz asked for a copy of the memo. Mr. Williams said he provided a copy on Friday afternoon to Ms. Pierce and Mr. Corso. Ms. Muñoz said at the last meeting, she had requested an amendment to the CPV ordinance to disallow impromptu calls for shuttle operators and she asked Ms. Pierce if that had been drafted. Ms. Pierce said the language was included in the language that Mr. Williams provided. Staff had been waiting for the letter from the cab industry before beginning to discuss changes. There were a number of things they were interested in and that was one of them. Some things were good clarification or changes that did not make a lot of difference but a couple of them were significant changes from policy the Assembly had recently given staff. She said staff would need direction from the Assembly on those items.
Mr. Dunn, a member of the audience, asked for the removal of Resolution No. 1997, item B2.
MOTION – by Garrett, to adopt the Consent Agenda with the deletion of B2, Resolution No. 1997, and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
A. Ordinances for Introduction
1. Ordinance No. 99-18
AN ORDINANCE PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE CHARTER OF THE CITY AND BOROUGH TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THE MUNICIPAL CLERK BY THE ASSEMBLY; AND CALLING FOR AN ELECTION ON THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE CHARTER SHOULD BE SO AMENDED.
Administrative Report: Attached. Pursuant to the Mayor’s request, the Manager recommended a work session be scheduled prior to the public hearing, and that this ordinance be scheduled for public hearing on July 19, 1999.
2. Ordinance No. 99-21
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE HEALTH AND SANITATION CODE TO INCREASE THE WASTE MANAGEMENT UTILITY FEE FROM $2.80 TO $4.00 PER MONTH UPON ESTABLISHMENT OF A SOLID WASTE RECYCLING PROGRAM.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be introduced and set for public hearing at the next regular meeting.
3. Ordinance No. 99-17 (AP)
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $800 TO ADJUST BUDGETED LIBRARY GRANTS TO THE ACTUAL GRANT AMOUNTS RECEIVED FOR FY99. SUCH FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be introduced and set for public hearing at the next regular meeting.
1. Resolution No. 1996
A RESOLUTION REQUESTING FISCAL YEAR 2000 SAFE COMMUNITIES FUNDING FROM THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this resolution be adopted.
3. Resolution No. 1998
A RESOLUTION EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR THE PRINCIPLES OF THE NATIONAL FOREST COUNTIES AND SCHOOLS COALITION.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this resolution be adopted.
4. Resolution No. 1999
A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE DIMOND COMMUNITY COMPLEX REVISED MASTER PLAN.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this resolution be adopted.
C. Transfer Request
- Transfer No. T-667:
Transfers $10,170 Which Closes Eight Capital Improvement Projects and Provides Ongoing Funding for Nine Capital Improvements Projects.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this transfer be approved.
- Contract No. E99-289:
Mendenhall Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant Decanters.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended award to Alaska Mechanical, Inc. in the amount bid, for a total award of $547,000.
2. Contract No. E99-407:
Augustus Brown Swimming Pool Locker Room Finishes.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended award to Awesome Transformation in the amount bid, for a total award of $54,300.00.
B-2 Resolution No. 1997
A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE AIRPORT MASTER PLAN.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this resolution be adopted.
Anthony Reiger, he read a statement for the record recently given to him by Mr. Joe Geldhof of 229 4th Street, Juneau. "Before you approve the Airport Master Plan (AMP), consider this: the plan is not complete or in any way final. It is a good beginning but really nothing more than a conceptual, decisional document, useful for obtaining federal funding. It is incomplete and susceptible to legal challenge. Remember when this body gave conceptual approval for a large mine proposal in Juneau with the hope that details would follow. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled against that kind of process. Mr. Miller and staff have done a good job so far, but this is not really a plan and at this point approval is premature. Before the plan is approved, the Environmental Analysis (EA) required by the NEPA needs to be completed."
Mr. Reiger, 5931 Montgomery Street, went on with his testimony. In his opinion, it was premature for the Assembly, representing the taxpayers of the CBJ, to take action on approving the AMP prior to a public discussion of the EA, and the report from the FAA on bird strike potential at the airport. There should be a moratorium on any expansion of the airport beyond its current boundaries until the public has had an opportunity to understand the financial, environmental and public safety issues involved. Ill advised airport management in the past, and a refusal to put public safety first, has allowed the airport and the surrounding area to attract even more birds to the runway area as well as the arrivals and departure zones for jet traffic. During the peak of spring and fall migrations, Juneau has been described to him by a commercial jet pilot as the most dangerous airport on the West Coast. To expand the airport even deeper into the refuge and establish flight corridors of migratory and resident bird populations is ill-advised public policy without the documented input of either the EA or the FAA bird strike data. He gave examples of why bird numbers had increased dramatically in the airport area: 1) a golf course was built on a major goose feeding area under the arrival and departure zone for jet aircraft attracting even more birds to it seasonally than the unaltered habitat could have fed; 2) the no hunting zones out 600 feet from the runway establish a sanctuary for flocks of waterfowl sometimes containing hundreds of individual birds; 3) the float plane pond not only attracts large numbers of birds to rest, but by its design provides some of the best feeding areas anywhere in the refuge; 4) the gravel pit alongside TEMSCO Helicopters, and the pond created just before Jordan Creek flows under the runway, have both developed into major waterfowl and wading bird resting, feeding and nesting areas. All the areas attract many more birds to the general runway area than frequented the area 30 years ago. He suggested that if the Assembly truly did value public safety as the primary consideration in any AMP, why would it rush to judgment before having all the data needed to make a more informed decision? He asked if anyone really believed that we could continue to attract birds to the same space we fly our planes in, expand the airport even further and increase aircraft traffic geometrically without a terrible tragedy occurring at some point. He said any of the reported bird strikes in recent years could have had very tragic consequences. He felt everyone wanted the Assembly to openly and honestly raise the issues at stake for the people of this community involved in continued airport expansion and the total cost involved. The members of the Assembly did not have all the facts needed, much less the public. He urged the Assembly to get those additional facts before sanctioning the plan to proceed.
Mr. Garrett noted that recently they saw very vividly what happens when you have an airport with an inadequate landing safety zone. That was what happened in Little Rock, Arkansas, in difficult weather conditions, which are very common here. He agreed that Mr. Reiger raised very valid points, but he did not want to be sitting here when there was an incidence where an airplane slides off the runway and a bunch of people die because the city was too busy talking about the birds. Mr. Reiger said that one thing that the Assembly needed to consider when discussing extending the safety zone was what they were extending it into. The major migration or regular fly way pattern for geese on these wetlands is up from Sunny Point and they already are crossing the end of the runway. An extension of that runway, to produce the safety zone, means those geese would be flying over that on a regular basis. All he was saying was that public safety had to be the paramount thing that drives whatever the community does out there. He honestly did not believe that either the Assembly or the public was aware of all the complicated issues involved. It was more complicated to extend the safety zone when in fact, if by doing that, you are going to attract even more birds to a raised area. Currently, around the runway and around the Miller gravel pit, there are dozens of pairs of nesting birds that would not be using that area if it were not raised above the normal wetland area. He wanted more debate and more information available for consideration.
Mr. Powell noted that a Wildlife Management Plan was not included or completed. He asked if that was what Mr. Reiger was referring to. Mr. Reiger thought that an EA needed to be before the Assembly before it could intelligently proceed. The FAA only recently actually brought someone in to study bird strikes and make recommendations for how to deal with that. Mr. Reiger said he was on the Refuge Advisory Board and his understanding from talking to that gentleman was that he sees a major problem out there which he is not prepared to document at this time because he does not have sufficient data. In addition, his study would not be completed for almost another ten months. He did not suggest that the Assembly wait ten months, but he did say there would be a lot of information that he would be able to document and provide the Assembly as the fall migration gets under way. The last thing any one wants is to have a big problem out there, and we need to make a hard decision for the benefit of the people in the community. Rushing ahead and committing to things before having all the facts is not a wise idea.
Ms. Hagevig asked if he had the opportunity to participate in the many opportunities for public hearing that the Airport Board had on this plan and had he provided the board with this specific kind of input. She felt the Airport Board, the airport staff and certainly the Assembly and everyone on the city’s staff was paramountly concerned with public safety. Mr. Reiger said that Dave, Al and Ralph were aware of the fact that he had been working for almost two years with his concerns about air strikes. He appreciated having that opportunity to work with those three and they tried a number of things including getting the Territorial Sportsman involved in trying to let hunters come in on a limited basis and hunt along side the runway. There has been a lot of input over a long period of time, and it was out of that work that they jumpstarted the Refuge Advisory Committee again. He recalled an incident last fall, when he was participating in a special change in policy that Mr. Miller had had the courage to institute. He had been standing along the runway and as an incoming jet was on its final approach, the body of the plane was coming into the beginning of the pavement on the runway, approximately 300 mallards and about 60 geese got up from the big lagoon alongside the runway and flew directly in front of the plane. They just missed it and he said he could see the people at the controls when they went by and it was a very animated look on the pilot’s face. Ms. Hagevig reiterated her question and Mr. Reiger said the Airport Board was aware of the fact that he and the Refuge Committee, as well as the people who had been meeting with Mr. Miller prior to the formation of the committee, had some concerns.
Ms. Hagevig asked if he had any long-term solutions to offer the Assembly. Mr. Reiger said this was too big of problem for any one individual to take on and come out with a recommendation. He said he would like for this community to come to a decision about whether or not they want to see any meaningful part of that refuge survive or whether they want to dedicate it to continued airport growth. At some point that decision would have to be made. He noted that at present, the way the airport sits now, the community needs to decide whether or not to fill that area from the edge of the runway back to Egan Drive. The more habitat we create in there, the more it encourages those birds to move back and forth across the runway. Every bit of habitat around the runway that could attract a bird should not be there. He said he would hope that someone would seriously consider keeping the airport for general aviation and seriously consider there being a jet port somewhere else.
Dixie Hood, 9350 View Drive, referred to Mr. Garrett’s comment about talking about birds when there could be such a catastrophe. She said her understanding of Mr. Reiger's testimony was that the birds could cause the catastrophe. She heard the Arkansas accident invoked on several occasions, but it had not been commented that that runway is 2,000 feet shorter than the Juneau runway. She said she attended the COW last Monday when they addressed the AMP with a slide presentation by the Airport Manager and a brief discussion with members of the Assembly. She did not hear a single comment or question about the impact of the AMP’s recommendation on the environment. Even though considerable filling of the wetlands is being proposed as well as acquisition of land beyond current airport boundaries in the Mendenhall Wetland State Game Refuge, somehow it is deemed appropriate to approve and forward this AMP with the EA lagging four months or more behind. She felt that was irresponsible and that it was critical that the public and the Assembly be fully informed about the consequences to the environment on this plan. She distributed a New York Times article dated May 13th which illustrated a particular kind of cement system that was used at Kennedy International Airport as a way of holding a plane that has overshot the runway. The system had been raised as an alternative to the runway safety areas that have been proposed and each time that the airport and FAA people have been asked about it and why it would not be appropriate to consider it for Juneau, they say it is only in its experimental stages or there is too much snow here. The article says the Port Authority in New York was planning at least one more bed at each end of its three airports. Minneapolis will install such a system soon and they certainly have as much snow as Juneau and a bigger airport. She felt some alternatives to expanding and filling the wetlands needed to be looked at with more care and should not just be a matter of a bureaucratic standard and everyone should fall into the same guidelines. There could be creative ways of dealing with the situation in the short term, at the same time that the 20 year long term AMP is being looked at by the community as a way of deciding what is wanted and needed. Everyone wants to be safe but we have a really unique environmental state game refuge at the center of the community and it is worth preserving.
Ms. Hagevig thanked her for her consolidation of comments after the work session last Monday. She said the one thing that struck her as an issue that required more information from the Airport Board or Airport Manager, was the business of the disposal of deicing chemicals.
Mr. Powell thanked her for leading the charge on putting together the League of Women Voters informational meeting. Ms. Hood added that there were copies of the public forum on video and there would be a copy at each of the library branches for people to check out and review. She said it was an extraordinary evening in terms of the collection of experts that heard each other as well as informed the public that was attending. Mr. Powell added that it was very balanced in its composition and being televised was a very good idea.
Ms. Muñoz referred to Ms. Hood’s comment that an EA would be completed in 4-5 months and she asked if that was indeed the case and who was doing the study. Ms. Hood said she spoke with Art Dunn who had been contracted to do the EA; several additional projects were added on to what he was originally doing. He said that at the earliest, he was looking at September. Her understanding was that if the EA shows considerable or significant impact, then a decision to do a full Environmental Impact Study (EIS) could be called for. A number of the organizations in this community that are concerned about the situation have been calling for an EIS right from the start. She felt it was important for the Assembly to have this material and information at hand before forwarding for approval the AMP.
William Phillip Dunn, 11435 Glacier Highway, testified that the previous remarks hit on many items with which he agreed. He read a portion from a previous statement that had been submitted a while ago to the Airport Board: "The refuge was established 23 years ago by legislature and it continues to benefit the community in countless ways. Any proposals to intrude upon or otherwise harm the refuge would be unacceptable to him. His concerns did not stop at the refuge’s legal boundaries since the precious wetlands and the watersheds which feed them have a will and way of their own and are intricately interrelated. He therefore took the opportunity to proof the initial and preliminary response to the AMP final draft. It is in several respects a troubling plan, often clearly not friendly to wetlands whether within or outside of the refuge, nor to other values and concerns of the broader community. While the singleminded focus on Airport matters is understandable, such a narrow approach fails totally to give proper attention and weight to other matters, conceivably of equal or greater importance to the community. For example, the AMP fails sufficiently to note, much less to emphasize, the basic unavoidable fact: the airport is in the middle of a priceless estuarine system and the system confers immense benefits in countless ways upon the community. Any airport plan or for that matter, any plan period, that notifies the Mendenhall River and Gastineau Channel that they are in non-compliance with zoning requirements is clearly cause for concern, to say the least. All in all, the AMP’s numerous proposed expansions of facilities and structures, many of them doubling and or even tripling present capacities and making cumulative impacts, could well be devastating on the wetlands, including the refuge. To assess these cumulative impacts and place them in the broader perspective of comprehensive planning, an EIS should be initiated without delay. The wetlands and the community deserve no less." He noted that he was testifying as an individual, although he was a volunteer on the Mendenhall Refuge Citizen’s Advisory Group. He has attended just about every meeting on this matter for some time and he has listened. He was aware of no taped hearings and this may be the first. He urged the Assembly to consider something such as a town meeting with taped hearings because this proposal strikes right at the heart, in his estimation, of the community. How we decide about this airport proposal and its expansion versus the refuge and wetlands, is a major indicator of what this community is all about and what it is going to be about. The AMP should be placed within the far broader overall Comprehensive Plan. There was no more central natural area for this community than the Mendenhall Watershed and the estuary. Alarms have been going up for a long time, Duck Creek and Jordan Creek: lose, lose, lose all the way. It must be stopped, the airport is big enough. Make it more efficient, work out other ways without going into the wetlands, even within the perimeter of the airport boundaries. Those wetlands are more important than the few minutes saved in airplane transportation.
MOTION - by Muñoz, to defer action on this resolution pending completion of an EIS and refer the resolution to the Lands Committee.
Mr. Kibby stated at the COW, his major concern was for the adverse side which has been presented at this meeting. Within the AMP, the thing he could pick apart the most was the EA as it was only for the near term projects. The community tends to develop more often than not by planning around growth. Dr. Reiger brought up a good point: what is it that we expect our airport to be 20 years or 50 years out. But he was not sure that deferring it for the EA was really going to help develop any policies. The FAA requires us to look at this on a 20 year concept in order for funding and the funding is not just for the 1,000 foot extensions and safety. He would only think of deferring action if it was understood what it was we were requesting when asking for an EA. An EA now is only looking at five years. To look at 20 years, it was his understanding that the FAA would require much more scrutiny. We would have to show, in essence, what it is that is going to be there in 20 years; what will occupy that space and time. With this AMP, we cannot do that right now and meet those requirements so he was not sure they could ask for an EA.
Ms. Muñoz said that it had been brought to their attention that there were two studies: one was an independent study having to do with bird counts and bird hits and she felt that was important information that needed to be looked at. There was apparently another study being conducted by Mr. Art Dunn and she felt that also needed to be looked at. She felt it was important to take the public’s concerns very seriously and that it was premature to act on the plan at this time.
Mr. MacKinnon asked Mr. Miller for a response as to what the effect of deferring action on this for a certain number of months would be. Mr. Miller said there were several things in looking at the environmental process. The EA was a pre-requisite to an EIS. An EA needed to be done for virtually every project that is done out at the airport, certainly anything that involves FAA funding. There were some minor exceptions like the purchase of a fire truck or snowplow. The EA comes down to a decision point, which results in one of two things, either a Finding of No Significant Impact or the requirement for an EIS. The work scope of the AMP from the beginning only required an EA for the first five years of projects. There were several good reasons for this including not knowing what would happen in the future. If an EA were done now for a project that would not be started for 12 years from now, there would need to be another EA done then, because there is a certain period of time between the completion of the EA and the beginning of a project. If that time elapses, then you have to start all over again. The master plan looks out for a period of 20 years, but a master plan is typically updated every four to seven years. The last update was 11 years ago so they were on borrowed time with the master plan. After they started this project two and a half years ago, the issue of the runway safety area came up in the middle of it. The runway safety area was something that had to be done. They were trying to manage the habitat, discourage the habitat off the ends of the runways, and encourage it perpendicular to the runway. The runway safety area did start an EA as part of that project, not necessarily a part of the AMP project; that EA is still going on. The runway safety area generated its own EA and Art Dunn has been doing that work. The fieldwork has been completed, there were numerous public hearings as that went along, and they committed $122,000 of their entitlement funds in order to get into that project. Mr. MacKinnon clarified that instead of an EA of the entire AMP as we have it, each individual project within the AMP would require an EA. Mr. Miller said that was a true statement and in the work scope point, an EA would be required for the first five years’ worth of projects.
Mr. Powell said in the plan itself it refers to itself internally as a development plan and an operational plan. He felt the title "Master Plan" was a misnomer because it did not contain environmental or economic impact information that was going to come about. There was not a complete picture and usually the complete picture is contained in master plans; they are done concurrently. He suggested calling this plan a development and operational plan, the airport would still get the needed funding for the safety upgrades and the operational things needed at the airport. Mr. Miller said he would have to check with the FAA, but as long as the document fits the definition as defined by the FAA Advisory Circulars, he did not think they would have a problem with it. If it does not fulfill the context as we know and understand it, it would make no difference to them as long as it fulfills the FAA requirements.
Mr. Powell suggested calling it something a little more reflective of what it was, a development plan for certain things at the airport. They could then put in language that it would be revised and be called a master plan once the wildlife hazard plan and the results from the EA or EIS were included. Mr. Miller said he could not speak for the FAA, but he felt that as long as they complete the plan in accordance with the checklist described by the Advisory Circular for the AMP, he did not think they would have any problem with it. He would be concerned if it was diluted to the point that they needed to be able to accept the exposure to liability for some of the safety concerns. Mr. Powell wanted to get on with the process and start upgrading the airport where it was needed, as far as safety concerns, but he did not want to lose track of other concerns within the community as far as the wildlife refuge and the wetland issues. He referred to the points brought out in the material provided by Ms. Hood and clarified that Mr. Miller had gone through that information. He said there was a concern that NEPA be included early in the process of putting out a master plan and that it be integrated in the planning. He asked Mr. Miller how he would respond to the federal government if they said he did not start the EA process at the same time he started the master plan process. Mr. Miller said he believed they did, but there were some areas, like the runway safety issue, that were not even a gleam in their eye when they began this process. They actually started this process in 1995.
Mr. Koelsch said the key word to him was "plan". Whether it is a master plan or a conditional plan it is still a plan and it is a direction. Direction gives us a chance to change and modify it to make it better. He thought to not have a direction and do nothing would be unacceptable. He appreciated Ms. Muñoz’s idea of deferring action but he wanted to be going in a direction. He felt sure that Mr. Reiger would be diligent in keeping the Assembly informed on the wildlife issues making sure that the environmental part was studied.
Ms. Muñoz withdrew her motion so that there could be additional discussion.
Ms. Hagevig asked the merits of the cement system that was brought to the Assembly’s attention earlier and then she asked about the disposal of the deicing material and why that was not more developed in the context of the plan. Mr. Miller said the EMAS pavement system is a type of pavement that would crumble and allow an aircraft to stop. The League of Women Voters public meeting had an outstanding panel including Patty Sullivan, an environmental specialist from the FAA Alaska Region Office. Also in the audience were other people from her office. When this question came up, the FAA came on line saying that type of pavement does not negate the requirements for the area; you cannot trade 500’ of EMAS for 1000’ of concrete. With regard to the deicing, there were two major areas being dealt with: deicing the runway and deicing the aircraft’s. Deicing of the runway was done with urea, a biodegradable product manufactured in Alaska by Union Oil Company. The Juneau Airport won international awards for this because it receives this urea in palletized form. They mix it at the airport, put it in the tanks and with the equipment they have, they can go from slick to safe in 20 minutes. The deicing of the aircraft is different and it does go into a drainage system. There are oil water separators in the drainage system, and built into the drainage system, there is a vegetative filtration system. As the fluid gets trapped in the vegetation, it has the opportunity to decompose before it gets anywhere. About 80% of the storm water runoff goes into the Airport float pond and they have the capability of isolating that float pond from anything else. Should this particular vegetative filtration system fail, there is the opportunity of containing it on the Airport. They take samples of storm water runoff on a regular basis and that is what gives them the clue of whether or not the filtrative system is working. They also watch the quantity to see if there were as many airplanes coming in the winter as during the summer, would they need deicing pads for the aircraft, where it can be recaptured. They were watching the economics because it would reach a point where it is economically worthwhile to recapture that.
Mr. Garrett had mixed feeling about the plan; there were pieces that he loved and likewise, there were serious safety issues that were not addressed thoughtfully. He was troubled by the lack of information about the bird strike issue and did not know how they could do a long-range plan for the airport without addressing that very serious problem. Mr. Miller could not give the reason it was not a component, but said they recognized that they needed a wildlife management study. They were able to expedite getting that study started in April. Because of the migratory waterfowl, it would take one year of field study to complete the wildlife management plan. The contractor then has two months to finalize his report. This was being done by the US Dept. of Agriculture and he was pleased with the progress. In the findings of the report, they have documented 19 reported bird strikes in nine years, since 1990. Out of those 19 reported, five reported damage to the aircraft. He thought it was important to emphasize that this was only what had been reported. Mr. Garrett noted that it only took one bird strike at Elmendorf to get people to change their minds. Mr. Miller said that particular incident brings tears to his eyes because that problem was documented at another base in 1986; that problem was fixed and that material was available to Elmendorf.
Mr. Garrett clarified that the wildlife management study would be completed next summer, then later on the agenda there was an appropriation for the EA for the runway safety area expansion. Mr. Miller said they were in the process of doing an EA for the runway safety area and they had committed $122,000 of their entitlement funds to do that. That was the project where all the fieldwork had been completed. Concommitantly, the FAA was installing approach lights to runway 26. Since the runway safety area and the area approach lights were essentially together, it made sense to have the same environmental contractor do the EA for both projects. Even though the FAA is paying 100% for the EA for the approach lights, it was tagged on to our contract so in order for them to reimburse them with their own money they have to go through the appropriation process. Mr. Garrett was not concerned about the money issue but was concerned about the sequencing issue. There was the master plan that did not have the wildlife management component and an EA which addresses many of the environmental issues that were not addressed in the master plan for the runway safety area. There were essentially three separate tracks of plans that a lot of people thought ought to be one. He asked what happens next July when the wildlife plan says the worse thing to ever do would be to extend the runway unless you are willing to fill in all the wetlands between the runway and Egan Drive. We would then be in a position of approving a plan but one of the fallouts would be something that we were not ready to decide on. Mr. Miller said the EA process was a part of every project that is done, if in that project we find that it will not work, the plan would need to be changed. He said in a perfect world this would all come together at the same time but it is difficult to do that; they could not bypass any of the NEPA requirements. Mr. Garrett was not suggesting bypassing any legal requirements, he only wanted to understand the things that ought to be tied together not being tied together at this moment.
Mr. Garrett went on to say that if the Assembly came up with the money to buy out ERA Helicopters and relocate them to the Airport, would this master plan allow for that. Mr. Miller said the master plan does look at the eastern half of the airport for commercial development, including helicopters. Originally one of the things discussed in the PAC meetings was pushing all the helicopters down to one area but they need more breathing room than that. Physically, the space is there but they would have the environmental and permitting process to go through.
Mr. Garrett asked how much it would cost to construct a whole new 10,500’ jet runway somewhere else. Mr. Miller said that question came up during the public forum that was sponsored by the League of Women Voters and between the industry and the FAA, they roughly threw out $110M. Mr. Garrett said the incredible irony that made it such a difficult issue, was that if the only place you could reasonably find that had that much flat land were in West Douglas, and in order to put an airport out in West Douglas you would definitely have to have a second channel crossing, probably four lanes wide, but it would be going right through the wetlands. He was surprised to not see that issue discussed in the master plan.
Mr. Kibby referred to the issue of the EA and said he wanted to be sure the body clearly understands that if an EA were done on the whole Airport, we would at least know what the pitfalls were. He supported the plan as presented but he thought it had not gone far enough. He felt the Airport Board should undertake an EA of the whole plan, not just the near term projects. Then, some of the bigger policy issues could be taken care of. To do it one at a time did not create opportunity. He understood that the EA was only good for a number of years but he thought it would be important to know where the airport was going. He has seen the population go from 8,000 to 32,000 and he wanted to be sure there was a plan for development and growth. He supported the master plan as it was, with that caveat, and he would like to move forward with it.
MOTION – by Kibby to move as of now, the Airport Master Plan, Resolution 1997.
FRIENDLY AMENDMENT – by Powell, to add another Whereas, that an Environmental Assessment will be completed for the entire Airport Master Plan.
Mr. Garrett asked if the maker of the motion would make that an amendment to section one, not a whereas. Mr. Powell accepted that suggestion.
Ms. Muñoz said the idea of having an EA for the entire Airport was a good one, but she also thought that once that information was back, there would have to be a dialog with the community about whether or not they wanted to see the airport and the runway expanded into the wetlands.
Mr. Corso was not sure the intent of the language. Taken by itself, it seemed to be a prediction and he asked if it meant it must be completed prior to the AMP being approved. Mr. Powell said no. Mr. Kibby said to just leave it as it was. Mr. Corso read the language as a Whereas. Mr. MacKinnon thought it fit better as a Whereas than as part of section one. Mr. Corso said it did not require anything, only predicted something.
FRIENDLY AMENDMENT - by Garrett, that the language be inserted as a new section two that would read "The Assembly requests the Airport Board complete an Environmental Assessment for the entire Airport within the next 18 months."
Mr. Koelsch asked if that meant for the airport now, or for the master plan of the future. Mr. Garrett meant for the master plan. Mr. Koelsch said that was not what it said to him. Mr. Corso said it did not presently say that and generally EA’s were completed by federal agencies for particular projects. He suspected in this case that it was a requirement for the FAA to include and the city was doing it for the FAA. Mr. Miller said the way he envisioned his marching orders on this, the EA looks out for the first five years of the master plan. He said it was his intent to apply for a grant to do an EA for the remaining 15 years of the master plan. Mr. Garrett agreed. Mr. Corso clarified that the intent was to require what Mr. Miller just described. Mr. Kibby said yes, for the long term. Mr. Corso said in that case, it should read "The Assembly requests the Airport Board complete an Environmental Assessment for the entire term of the Airport Master Plan." He said the entire airport made it sound geographical and this would be a chronological description.
Mr. Powell said unless FAA rules are different, in the EIS process under NEPA they encourage not phasing and piecing it out with an EA for this or that. In his mind, he would like an EA for the plan for the whole area, rather than piecing it, so the public could get an idea of that. He clarified with Mr. Corso that there were laws that speak against phasing.
Mr. MacKinnon said it was the intent of this body that the Airport Board look at the assessment and revise the plan and if necessary, bring it back to the Assembly.
Mr. Corso read the new section two: The Assembly requests the Airport Board, within the next 18 months, completes an Environmental Assessment for the entire term of the Airport Master Plan.
There being no objection to Resolution 1997 as amended, it was so ordered.
R E C E S S
9:30 p.m. – 9:45 p.m.
1. Ordinance No. 99-19
AN ORDINANCE REPEALING AND REENACTING TITLE 19, THE BUILDING REGULATIONS OF THE CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU CODE.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be adopted. He referred to Mr. Corso’s memo dated June 16 that recommended four amendments to the ordinance.
Bob Gregovich, testified that out of the myriad of ways to deal with access for people who were disabled, and the meanings and all that, it appears that two have emerged as the main competitors. One was the ADA Guidelines and Standards (ADAGS) and the other was what the code committee had recommended and that was the ANSI Standards. Given that the two are quite close, and given that the architects and builders were allegedly for the ANSI Standards, the ADA Committee took that into account and recommended that the ANSI Standards be adopted as is the recommendation of the Code Committee.
Don Brandon: 2517 Scott Drive, testified that he moved here from Fairbanks and serves as the ADA Coordinator for the State of Alaska. He has always been involved in accessibility issues because he has to. One of the privileges of citizenship is not only the right to vote, the responsibility of paying taxes and paying for utilities, but to know that if I go to the University, I have an accessible University that I can attend. He noted that he was the ADA Coordinator at UAF and previous to that, he worked for the city building code officials as they went through this process of adopting accessibility requirements within their community. When he lived in Anchorage he had the opportunity to participate in that process also. He was pleased to be able to comment in support of the Assembly adopting Chapter 11 of the Uniform Building Code (UBC). As Mr. Gregovich mentioned, the dissimilarities between the ADAGS and the ANSI Standard were there, but as long as you have an option of being reviewed based upon the ADAGS or the ANSI Standards, that was acceptable. The design community prefers the ANSI because it is written in UBC language, which they understand; the ANSI speaks to that. Another thing he thought was important to remember was that the ADA Accessibility Guidelines are built on the 1988 ANSI Standards. They built on it, created the different kind of scoping requirements and then went beyond what was probably comfortable for a lot of people in the progressive style of creating civil rights compliance within an accessibility guideline which is very difficult to do. That progressiveness is demonstrated in what they do and how they deal with existing structures. The ANSI 1998 version does not deal with existing structures, only new stuff. That is progressive in and of itself without going back and trying to reinvent something that was invented long ago. When he has traveled around Alaska, it has been very comforting in some ways to see the level of accessibility that we have in the 49th State, but part of the reason for that is because it is such a young state. We do not have the existing 100-year-old structures like they do on the East Coast. Because we are a younger state, in some ways it is easier for us to make these decisions. He encouraged and supported the Assembly in making the decision to adopt Chapter 11, because for one thing it was time and it was a good decision. It was not going to cure all the problems, but it is one big chunk of the pie that was not there before. He felt if the Assembly chose not to adopt it, it would put the community in an awkward place because it would force the consumer community of people with disabilities to take a proactive step and start getting in opposition with the community that they really love and value. He felt it was much to the Assembly’s advantage to see adoption of Chapter 11 as something very progressive, very timely and needed.
Mr. Garrett said that one of the proposed amendments was a slight change to the UBC to make it apply to five or more dwelling units in a group one division occupancy, instead of four. There was a bit of a disconnect in that many of our code provisions changed at above four-plexes, except this one piece of the code was changed at three-plexes prior to the amendment. Without this amendment, a person could build a three-plex and it would not have to be accessible, but as soon as you build a four-plex this would kick in. This amendment is shifting the kick in point to a five-plex or above. Mr. Brandon would prefer it to be at the four-plex level because it would provide more opportunity. As a whole, people with disabilities are the poorest minority. There would be much more opportunity for housing in a four or more scenario than a five or more scenario because there is not that much land around here to build five-plexes.
Mr. Gregovich asked the same question of staff as to whether the ADA Committee or the city had made any recommendations with regard to the four-unit or five-unit issue. The response was that the ADA Committee was a bit wishy-washy and he did not feel it was that big of an issue. He felt the main thing was the adoption of the code and not whether it was four or five units. His preference would be for the lesser number.
Ms. Muñoz clarified the act was progressive in that existing structures were not required to make certain changes but new construction was. Mr. Brandon said the ANSI version was sort of progressive; the ADA itself treats it differently. Ms. Muñoz said that in the current code there was some flexibility in that if you have a small building and it is under a retail or office operation and it is under a certain square footage, then you are not required to put in an elevator. She asked how the new change affected that area. Mr. Brandon said in building a new building, he thought the 3,000 square foot per floor multi-dwelling scenario was still there because it was in the ANSI 1988 version, he guessed they probably just carried it over. In an existing structure that does not have an elevator, because you are not building a new building you do not have to put in an elevator if there is not one there. You do have to make sure that if you have a shop on the second floor that you are not discriminating against people who cannot get there. You have to be willing to bring stuff downstairs to show it to people, have some sort of call button and those kinds of things. The ANSI does not require that, only the ADA would go that far and that was one of the differences. The ADAGS was progressive in the sense that it requires things to happen to existing structures that are cheap and easy to do which is an interpretation. Under the ANSI scenario, only if you went through the process of a remodel or went through a new construction of a whole new project, or did an alteration, would you have to deal with making modifications to the area that you remodel or make new. In the ADA, there is more to that scenario than there is in Chapter 11. It is more complicated and harder for people to embrace.
Ms. Muñoz clarified that would include change of use for an old structure if you have a certain use and you are changing it to a new use, then under ADA you would be required to make certain modifications. Mr. Brandon said that it depended if you were changing the use of a facility, then you have path and travel requirements up to a certain dollar amount that you have to deal with. Under ANSI you do not have the path of travel requirement as you do with the ADA, you would just have to deal with the area that is being altered. Ms. Muñoz asked if the square footage of 3,000 per floor was still applicable. Mr. Brandon said that square footage was based on when an elevator was required, not when you were just altering or changing the use of a building. Ms. Muñoz asked that if you were altering the use of a building and you were outside of that square footage, would you then have to put in an elevator. Mr. Brandon said not necessarily. He gave the example of a 4,000 square foot, two story pre-existing structure being changed from a storage area to a restaurant. If the entire room only cost $200,000, under the ADA, you would have to spend 20% of that $200,000 to remove barriers along the path of travel from the front door to all the places where the changes were made. So, instead of having a $200,000 alteration, you have a $240,000 alteration and you only have to spend $40,000 to bring it into compliance. Most elevators cost more than $40,000 so there would not be a requirement to put the elevator in. If you had something much more exorbitant than that, and the cheapest and easiest thing to do within that 20% was to put an elevator in, then the most commonsense thing would be to put an elevator in. That was the difference between the ADAGS and the ANSI; there is not that discussion under Chapter 11 that you do under the ADA.
Ms. Hagevig asked if they had an opportunity to look at the memo in the packet from Mr. Corso, dated June 16, in which four amendments to the ordinance were recommended by staff as a result of the previous public hearings and the feedback received. She specifically was looking at amendment no. 3, which goes back to the business of four plexes. Both Mr. Brandon and Mr. Gregovich indicated they had read it. Ms. Hagevig asked if the content of the amendment as presented was a reasonable approach and Mr. Brandon felt it was.
Bob Briggs, Staff Attorney with the Disability Law Center in Juneau, testified that the previous remarks were good succinct descriptions of the law as he understood it. This was a policy choice about adopting the American National Safety Institute (ANSI) standards for accessibility, as opposed to doing nothing, as opposed to adopting the Federal ADA Accessibility Guideline Standards (ADAGS). What happens today would not change the requirement of any building owner or owner of a facility to comply with the federal law, the only issue was how close to that federal law the Assembly wanted the local code to be. To adopt the ADAGS in its entirety, you could be fairly certain that anyone who built a building in compliance with the Building Code would be also in compliance with the federal law. That would be a good policy approach, but there was opposition within the community to that approach. He had the Clerk distribute two publications from the US Department of Justice which discussed the ADA: The ADA and Small Business which suggests, proactively, how small business could approach compliance with the ADA; and Errors and Omission which implies that anyone who builds or substantially alters a facility after the applicable deadlines of the ADA, invents a facility that does not comply with the federal guidelines. If that failure causes an injury to somebody, they have basically bought themselves a tort lawsuit. He felt it was incumbent upon local business people, as well as the CBJ, for risk management purposes, to understand this federal law. He was aware of a liability lawsuit being prepared in Ketchikan because of someone who did not comply with this code. As a citizen and taxpayer of the community, he urged the Assembly to make this a priority and listen to the recommendations of the ADA Advisor Committee. He recommended the adoption of the ANSI Standards. The ADAGS were not written in a way that was friendly to engineers and architects whereas the ANSI Standards were. He called an independent living specialist who works for Southeast Alaskans for Independent Living (SAIL), a wheel chair user who is an engineer, and he agreed that ANSI was pretty good. Adoption would provide advocacy and support for the business community because the building inspectors would know what the standards were and tell the people who have to build the buildings what the standards are. Finally, he addressed the proposed amendment in the memo by Mr. Corso, number three, regarding the applicability of the code to dwelling units. There was a second federal law that this building code was attempting to address and that was the Federal Fair Housing Act (FFHA). The ADA does not apply to any rental housing units or any housing units at all, other than hotels. What does apply to rental housing units is the FFHA. The requirements are less specific, but they do apply to any congregation of rental housing units consisting of four or more dwelling units. It also applies to any person owning four or more separate houses for rental. To adopt the third amendment would be fine as a matter of policy, but it would do nothing to change the FFHA applicability. He suggested going with the four or more housing units simply because someone would not be surprised down the line.
Mr. Powell referred to the amendments proposed and asked Mr. Briggs his opinion. Mr. Briggs could not express an opinion on the first or forth as they related to issues that he did not believe related to the ADA and he was not familiar with the parity bill SB8 which was the subject of the fourth change. With regard to the third change, he could not determine what the purpose for it was. He said the FFHA says that if you are building into a hillside and there are four units stacked on top of each other, the FFHA does not require that you make wheel chair accessible access to all four units, just that you make a wheel chair accessible access to the unit that is on the ground floor. Another thing is that the unit has to be totally on the ground floor. One way that it would be simple and easy to evade the FFHA is simply make living units all on the second floor. Split level units could have the bedrooms on the top floor and the FFHA would not require you to make that accessible, so the FFHA, from a disability perspective, does not provide that much in terms of protection and help for people with disabilities. Mr. Powell clarified he was not for number two. Mr. Briggs said he was not opposed to it, but could not say he was for it. He was not opposed to number three but in adopting it, it would not absolve a landowner from having to comply with the FFHA. As a citizen, he was opposed to it because he felt it was misleading to building owners who may comply with it and think they are safe and then find out later that the FFHA applies to them.
Ms. Hagevig said on item D of amendment three, where it talks in terms of making the type B dwellings adaptable, did that meet the reasonableness standards that he spoke of in the FFHA. Mr. Briggs said yes, the FFHA does require this element of adaptability. Without reference to the number of units that it applies to, the fact that they are adaptable is an element of the FFHA so he thought it was consistent with the federal law and he felt it was a good idea. Ms. Hagevig was concerned with pricing ourselves out of making this type of adaptable and accessible housing available. If there is not enough flexibility in this, builders will stop building the types of houses that folks with disabilities would have access to. If it is not built no one is out of compliance with federal, state or local law, but no housing exists either. Previous arguments were that when you get to this level of housing, there were certain financial aspects that make it particularly attractive or not. Mr. Briggs appreciated the work she had done for the good of people with disabilities and he thought the goal was to increase the accessible housing in Juneau in general. His experience had been that accessible units were more desirable because they were airier and more attractive, more flexible. It was easier to do it at the front end, in the design of it, than in retrofit. The adaptability feature was focused on that and was an effort in that regard.
MOTION - by Garrett, to adopt Ordinance No. 99-19 and he proposed the four amendments in the June 16, 1999 memorandum from Mr. Corso. There being no objection to the four amendments, it was so ordered.
Mr. Koelsch said that throughout the entire document, there were grammatical concerns. Discussion ensued and Mr. Corso noted that the Law Department usually receives the building code rewrite every four to five years. They get a massive document that many people have been working hard on for a long time. They could not go through and correct all the criticism raised by Mr. Koelsch, but they could go through and correct improper case, and tense and numbering errors. He was not sure they could go through and add words as suggested, but they would go through and do what they could.
Mr. Kibby clarified that Section 10 of the Uniform Fire Code was the same as in 1993.
There being no objection to Ordinance 99-19 as amended, it was so ordered. Mr. MacKinnon pointed out that this would adopt the 1997 code. On behalf of the Assembly, he thanked everyone for all their hard work.
2. Ordinance No. 98-17 (AN)
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $12,000 FOR A GRANT TO THE PERSEVERANCE THEATRE. SUCH FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SOUTHEAST ALASKA ECONOMIC RELIEF FUNDS (SAEF).
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be adopted.
Public Participation: None
MOTION – by Powell, to adopt Ordinance 98-17 (AN) and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
3. Ordinance No. 98-17 (AO)
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $424,400 FOR ADDITIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT WORK FOR THE RUNWAY SAFETY AREA PROJECT AT THE JUNEAU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. SUCH FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be adopted.
Public Participation: Mr. Dunn had signed up to testify but he left. No one else wished to testify.
MOTION – by Kibby, to adopt Ordinance 98-17 (AO), and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager concurred with the Assembly Human Resources Committee’s recommendation to the Assembly to protest the Bergmann & Grubstake House liquor license two-year renewal application. Mr. Palmer noted that they had paid their sales tax, but were still delinquent in their property tax in the amount of $4,253.62. Mr. Corso said the burden of proof was on the municipality to establish that a protest should be lodged. Normally, the municipality would present its case and it would be up to the licensee to oppose that, but the licensee was not present. Mr. MacKinnon clarified they had been sufficiently notified of this hearing. Ms. Miller said they were sent a certified letter and they had been contacted by her assistant and by the Finance Department, reminding them of this meeting.
Mr. Duncan said the Assembly’s policy had been to protest the renewal of liquor licenses when the owner of the license had failed to comply with the tax laws and to collect and remit taxes. This merchant is aware that the real property tax is due and following the City’s standing policy, staff recommended protest on that basis.
Mr. Garrett asked Mr. Duncan if this were a common thing for this owner to be delinquent in the payment of their taxes. Mr. Duncan could not answer that question. Mr. MacKinnon noted that to his recollection, it was an annual event. Ms. Muñoz objected and noted that the applicant was currently ill.
MOTION – by Garrett, that the Assembly concur with the HRC recommendations and protest the renewal of the Berman & Grubstake House liquor license two-year renewal application on the basis of outstanding tax liability.
Ms. Hagevig asked at what point the State Liquor Board would be taking action on this. Mr. Corso could not tell when they were scheduled to meet but he said when they did, the municipality’s protest would be before it and it may be necessary for the municipality to appear before the Board and defend its protest. Ms. Hagevig asked that in the event the owners of the license make appropriate payment in full on the taxes, before that meeting were to occur, was there the option to withdraw the protest. Mr. Corso said this was only a statement of our position for the Board to consider. The Assembly could make the basis for its decision that the taxes have not been paid and if they were, the protest would be withdrawn so that the Board has a basis for proceeding. Mr. Garrett accepted that as a friendly amendment.
There being no objection, it was so ordered.
: Attached. Because all taxes had been paid, the Manager recommended that the Assembly waive its right to protest the Sandbar, Inc. liquor license two-year renewal application.
MOTION – by Koelsch, to waive the Assembly’s right to protest. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
A. Manager’s Report - Action Items - None
B. Manager’s Report - Information Items
1. Status Report: Commercial Passenger Vehicle Regulations.
Administrative Report: Attached. Mr. Palmer said as Ms. Pierce had mentioned earlier, there were several items that the Assembly noted and asked for staff to address in the regulations. The fees, the late fees, the issue of shuttles, enforcement, delivery of alcohol, lettering, roof lights and dispatch location. Some of those involved policy issues that the Assembly would need to review. He suggested appointing a sub-committee to work with staff to let staff know if the Assembly wanted to change the policy that the Assembly just asked staff to adopt. Staff was not comfortable coming back with an amendment to the regs that were just the opposite of what staff had been told to write when writing the regs the first time.
Mr. MacKinnon thought it would be helpful if the members of the CPV Task Force met in the Manager’s Office to look at the points that have been made and see where the Assembly may be willing to flex. The task force agreed to meet and would be notified of the time and date.
C. Attorney’s Report - None
MOTION – by Muñoz, to appoint Diane Anderson and Sally Dwyer to the 1% for Art Panel – Health and Social Services Salmon Creek Building; Robert Thibodeau and Jennifer Klien to the Commission on Aging; Mike Barton and Ron Swanson to the Airport Board; Diane M. Pearson to the Bidding Review Board; Harley Clough, Rick Kasnick and E. Budd Simpson to the Docks and Harbors Board; Ruth P. Deal and Robert C. Clasby to the Eaglecrest Ski Area; Ivan T. Show and Sharmon Stambaugh to the Fisheries Development Committee; Marie M. Olson and Nora Ann Toner to the Historic Resources Advisory Committee; Jonathan F. Anderson and Jayne Andreen to the Human Rights Commission; Lance Davis Miller to the International Relations Advisory Committee; and Bonnie McElmurry and Kelly Ludwig to the Juneau Women’s Council. There being no objection it was so ordered.
MOTION – by Kibby, to increase the royalty at the Lemon Creek Gravel Pit of $1.00 which, would bring the total to $2.65.
Mr. MacKinnon supported the increase, but he spoke against the motion because for a long time, there has been a five-cent a ton royalty or fee owed the owner of the property that the road leaving the pit is on for which he has not been paid. He would support the $2.65 once the amount due Mr. Horsney was paid to him.
Mr. Kibby said staff and Mr. Horsney had been diligently working toward that end; it was all part of the management plan. Mr. MacKinnon asked Mr. Palmer when Mr. Horsney would get a check. Mr. Palmer said he recently saw a message from Mr. Millard that they were calculating the amounts and working on processing it; he was not sure why he had not been paid. Mr. MacKinnon said the problem was that the City only wanted to pay him for the gravel that legitimately crossed the scales and that the City had been compensated for. Mr. Horsney felt he was due even the gravel that has been stolen.
Mr. Kibby asked for unanimous consent. Mr. MacKinnon objected until the obligation to Mr. Horsney has been satisfied.
Ms. Hagevig clarified that under the new management scheme, Mr. Horsney would be the person who actually continues to operate the scale and manages the ingress and egress from the gravel pit and he would be compensated for that. She asked how far back the back pay went and was it possible to negotiate some sort of a settlement with him out of existing or anticipated future funds. Mr. MacKinnon said it was a six-digit figure.
Ayes: Hagevig, Kibby, Koelsch, Muñoz, Powell and Garrett
MOTION – by Kibby, that the Assembly requests the Manager to enter into negotiations with Rosemary Gute for the land acquisition adjoining the Airport property. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mr. MacKinnon clarified this piece of property had been identified on the land acquisition plan. Mr. Kibby said no, they had a request from the Airport Board, Mayor Egan and the City Manager; Mr. Gruening had nothing to do with this piece of property.
MOTION – by Kibby, that the Assembly requests the Manager to enter into negotiations with the owners of the Malaspina Apartment for acquisition.
Mr. Garrett added that demolition would also be part of the negotiation, that the property owners demolish it and give it to the City with nothing on it. Mr. Kibby added that this would be for expansion of the Capital Avenue project, for site distance. Mr. Palmer clarified that the city would only be paying for the property and not the building. Mr. Kibby thought it would be best addressed by Mr. Buck and Mr. Gilbertson for the reason that there are other options and alternatives that have been presented to staff regarding the acquisition of that building rather than outright cash sales. Mr. Kibby said this acquisition was requested by Engineering so he asked Mr. Palmer to speak with his staff.
There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mr. Palmer clarified when the price on the Rock Dump would go into effect and Mr. Kibby said immediately. He again suggested Mr. Palmer talk with Mr. Buck.
Mr. Koelsch suggested that if there were two recognitions the same night, it would be nice to have two different formats. He noted there would be a Transportation meeting Thursday at noon in the Chambers and also he wanted some time to deal with the Mayor’s request for a meeting on the Clerk. Mr. MacKinnon said it went through on the Consent Agenda and was set for public hearing on July 19th. Mr. Koelsch thought the Mayor wanted to have a meeting before the 19th of July and Mr. MacKinnon said that would happen.
Mr. MacKinnon noted that everyone received an invitation for the going away party honoring Chief Gummow, up on the Tram on Saturday June 26th. Maggie from JPD asked that anyone attending RSVP.
Marian Miller, Clerk
Deputy Mayor MacKinnon