There was a distinct public safety theme to a handful of items approved by the Juneau Assembly last night (Monday).
Members appropriated more than 131-thousand dollars in grant funds related police or fire services.
The largest chunk was a $94,575 dollar expenditure that will allow the city to hire two new police officers. City Manager Rod Swope explained that the amount covers the first six months of a three-year grant from the US Justice Department.
“This grant will fund two police officers for three years free of charge, and then we will be obligated to fund those positions the fourth year and thereafter if we want to keep them on the force,” said Swope. “So, in total this grant’s worth $567,452.”
Swope said the officers would be assigned to JPD’s downtown patrol.
“Which, I think given all the issues we’re having to deal with recently, will really be a good thing,” he said.
The assembly also approved $6,615 for a software program that will give police the ability to do three-dimensional reconstructions of car crashes. Funding for that item came from an Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities grant.
Another expenditure of $30,583 dollars will allow two members of Capital City Fire and Rescue’s Hazmat Team to go to a training seminar in Fairbanks. That item was courtesy of a grant from the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
The assembly last night also approved a $6.6-million dollar appropriation for continued funding of the Juneau Airport’s runway safety area project, with $6.3-million that was provided by a Federal Aviation Administration grant. The rest is coming from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Juneau Airport operating funds.
Assembly members also approved a climate action plan for the city and borough, which sets a goal of reducing Juneau’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by the year 2032.
- The co-chairmen of the House Finance Committee revised their plans to introduce an income tax to Alaska for the first time in nearly four decades.
- The Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery is in full swing. In less than a week, the fleet has caught over half of its quota. And while most crew members work on the water, spotter pilots fish for herring from the sky.
- A lot of eyes were on the U.S. House today, but, as Republican factions shuttled to the White House to negotiate, it was a day of waiting for most.
- Gov. Walker’s legislation creates a new definition for independent contractors that would determine whether employers have to pay to insure against on-the-job injuries.