The Juneau Assembly last night adopted a $313.6 million operating budget for the city and borough for next year. As previously reported by KTOO, the budget was balanced through a combination of cuts and a small property tax increase.
The spending plan takes effect July 1st , the start of the new fiscal year.
The Assembly also approved a total mill levy of 10.66 which includes a small increase for debt service.
The budget adoption ends weeks of Finance Committee meetings to hammer out details.
Proposed increases in fees to balance the Juneau International Airport budget prompted the most discussion at last night’s meeting.
“We’ve received several letters from airport tenants about this,” Mayor Merrill Sanford said.
Airport Manager Patty deLaBruere says airport officials held four finance meetings to work with airport tenants, and will continue to work with the group.
Coastal Helicopter’s Mike Wilson represented the airport tenants group, which sent a letter to the Assembly objecting to the speed at which the changes were being implemented.
Wilson told the Assembly last night the group will hold additional meetings with the finance committee to see about using emergency funds to help offset costs in the short term.
The Assembly approved the adjustments to airport rates and fees to cover the projected shortfall. If the airport finance committee makes additional change, they will have to be approved by the Assembly as a budget amendment.
Sanford asked that the tenant group and the airport finance committee work closer on the issue.
- The city thinks Hecla's Greens Creek mine may be responsible. The mine says its discharges in the area meet state requirements.
- Sarah Erkmann, external affairs manager for the Alaska Oil and Gas Association trade group, said the tax amounts to “punishing” oil companies.
- The Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon canceled its annual convention slated to be held in Haines, mainly due to the weak Canadian dollar.
- For now, traffic in Gastineau Channel will not be restricted, but Hilbert said they will likely establish a no-wake zone during the actual salvage operation.