The Juneau Assembly approved three ordinances Monday to fund ongoing projects in the Capital City.
A four-year effort to map low-grade wetlands will be paid for with a $1.6-million state Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development grant.
Deputy Community Development Director Greg Chaney explained that the project will use LiDAR, or light detection and ranging, and aerial photography to identify wetlands suitable for development. He said the imagery will be “ground-truthed” to ensure proper labeling of wetlands.
“That’s one of the big parts of this project,” Chaney said. “We’ll have the initial aerial photography, LiDAR, and then that remote sensing will be used by people who go in the field and actually verify on the ground.”
The project is scheduled to wrap up in February 2016.
Meanwhile, the Assembly appropriated another $7-million grant from the state Commerce Department to fund the Dimond Park Library project. That’s about half of the estimated project cost. The rest will come from the city’s temporary 1-percent sales tax, Friends of the Library fundraising, and the city’s Library Endowment Fund. Also included in the estimated project cost is the city’s donation of about $1-million in land where the new library will be built.
The final appropriation was a more than $177,000 grant from the Alaska Department of Transportation for the Juneau Airport’s runway safety area improvement project. The nearly $24-million dollar project is mostly funded by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Assembly approved all three measures unanimously.
- So far, the Juneau School District has enrolled about 230 more students than it expected. If the higher enrollment remains true in October, the district could get enough additional state funding to cover a near $200,000 deficit.
- Juneau-based nonprofit, Southeast Alaska Land Trust, was denied its property tax exemption earlier this year. Now the Assembly will take another look.
- "A lot of ice experts, including myself, thought we were headed for a record year minimum," said Hajo Eicken, a professor at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.