The Juneau Assembly has set its top ten goals and priorities for the next year.
The list includes gaining support for a new State Library Archives and Museum building in the Capital City. The state recently broke ground on the 124.5-million dollar project in the Willoughby District, though it’s not yet fully funded. Assemblywoman Karen Crane – a former state library director – says it’s important to keep pushing for the so-called SLAM building, which could spark public and private investment in Juneau.
“There now looks like there might be some support for it within the administration,” Crane says. “And if it doesn’t get funded within the next year or two, the project is not going to go forward.”
Deputy Mayor David Stone pushed for a financial transition plan to help the city adjust to an expected decline in state and federal assistance.
“I think we have a responsibility to future assemblies, as well as our citizens to have a good financial plan for how we’re going to weather this storm,” says Stone.
Perhaps the most controversial item on the list is a review of whether or not to promote development of the AJ Mine. Because the mine is so divisive, Crane says it’s important to decide how the matter will be resolved, and when.
“There’s a significant number of people in the community who are very nervous about this, and I think it would be helpful if we could lay out for them in some more detail how the process is going to go,” Crane says. “And for ourselves: What are going to be the issues that make this project either a project that moves forward or that we decide is not moving forward?”
The assembly goals list is finalized annually after the fall municipal election. This year’s version was narrowed down from about 60 goals discussed at an assembly retreat last month.
CBJ Assembly Top 10 Goals for 2011
• Support new state library, archives and museum (SLAM)
• Find ways to reach out not only to our neighboring Southeast communities, but all Alaska communities to enhance Juneau as the Capital City and an important regional economic and transportation hub
• Actively promote Juneau as a World Class Climate Research center
• Develop a CBJ financial transition plan for the potential future decline of state and federal assistance
• Continue to support fisheries development in Juneau through infrastructure development
• Complete review of the potential development of the AJ Mine for initial go/no go decision
• Successfully recruit and hire a new city manager
• Ensure that Juneau has a functioning local solid waste disposal option into the future
• Implement a long term solution for Juneau’s sewage solids
• Identify a route and begin permitting the extension of North Douglas Highway
- The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning until Saturday morning for Mendenhall River and surrounding area.
- Large projects can often be contentious, and two of the most debated state projects in the past few years have been the Knik Arm Crossing and the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project.
- Gov. Bill Walker announced an additional $10 million cut to the University of Alaska.
- The largest share of that cut is to the account the state uses to partially reimburse local governments for school bonds.