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.
- The Juneau Assembly declined to pass a broaden sales tax exemption for seniors. Opposition from businesses prodded elected officials to refer the initiative back to committee.
- Fines for pet owners whose for critters scooped up by animal control officers have gone up. The fees hadn't been adjusted for nearly 17 years.
- Local education officials are applying for state money to replace and repair leaky roofs at several Juneau schools. About $5 million is coming in over the next five years earmarked for school maintenance from sales tax money that voters approved in the Oct. 3 election.
- "They’re calling it GTA, grand theft Anchorage, right now," said Rep. Lora Reinbold, who says she wants to repeal Senate Bill 91. "It’s outrageous, what’s going on in the city that I love.”