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.
- It’s not clear whether independent Gov. Bill Walker will run in the primary. A campaign spokesperson said Walker could not comment because it is a pending legal matter to which the state is a party.
- Gastineau Community School has been renamed Sayéik Gastineau Community School. The Juneau School Board voted unanimously to add the traditional Tlingit name, which loosely translates to “spirit helper.”
- Christopher Strawn testified he walked home with his dog and was going to sleep when Brandon Cook was shot and killed on Oct. 20, 2015.
- Gov. Walker and Lt. Gov. Mallott both spoke, but is was the 17-year-old keynote speaker who brought the room to its feet with applause and cheers.