Assembly committee to revisit ‘new JACC’ funding proposals

By January 10, 2019 January 11th, 2019 Arts & Culture, Juneau, Local Government
This design rendering shows how the new Juneau Arts and Culture Center may appear from the Andrew P. Kashevaroff Building.

This design rendering shows how the new Juneau Arts and Culture Center may appear from the Andrew P. Kashevaroff Building. (Courtesy Juneau Arts and Humanities Council)

Public financing for the “new JACC” may still be on the table.

Options for funding the construction of a new Juneau Arts and Culture Center — budgeted to cost $26.4 million — will be taken up by the Juneau Assembly Public Works and Facilities Committee this spring.

At a Wednesday Finance Committee meeting, Mayor Beth Weldon said she had met with stakeholders and decided there was more work to do.

“We’re not ready to talk about a financial package yet. We’re still trying to come up with a concept that people can get behind,” Weldon said. “If we can agree on a concept, then we worry about the money.”

In August, the Assembly rejected two proposals related to the project. Voters would have been asked to approve municipal debt to partially fund the project.

One involved a $12 million bond that would have funded construction of the “new JACC” and upgrades to Centennial Hall. The other was a $7 million bond just for rebuilding the JACC.

Katharine Heumann, executive director of the partnership board working on the project, said she looks forward to working with all the groups involved, including Travel Juneau and the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce.

After the meeting, she said she hopes things get moving again on the project.

“Any delay sets back the project in the sense that the longer it takes for us to break ground and begin construction, the more costly it could be,” Heumann said.

The Public Works committee plans to review options and send its recommendation to the Finance Committee by mid-April, so the Assembly will have time to decide whether to bring the topic back to voters in October.

Correction: A previous version of this story overstated new Juneau Arts and Culture Center cost estimates. According to Program Manager Bob Banghart, the New JACC project is budgeted to cost $26.4 million. Additional costs would occur if the city combined upgrades on a separate project.

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