Affordable Housing Subsidies and City Hall Selection Process to Lead Next Assembly Activities


Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – The Assembly’s Committee of the Whole is considering funding recommendations for the Juneau Affordable Housing Fund during its working session Monday evening.

City manager Rorie Watt spoke about it while a guest on Action Line. He said they had put out a tender for projects and formed a committee that included staff, someone with banking expertise, a private developer and a representative of the CBJ’s Systemic Racism Review Committee.

The panel recommends funding the AWARE Cordova Street project for $ 150,000. Two St. Vincent DePaul projects are also recommended for funding. The Channelview project would receive $ 50,000 and the Teal Street project would receive $ 100,000.

After receiving additional information, the committee says it supports the Gastineau Lodge Apartments downtown project which includes 80 units and offers a pre-development loan of $ 700,000 with some conditions. One is that adequate collateral is obtained to secure the loan and the other is that adequate site monitoring documentation is provided. The location is currently in the moderate danger zone. If updated hazard maps are adopted, they would fall into a severe hazard category.

The committee recommends a May 1 deadline for reviewing the project in this round of funding.

The Bergman Hotel and Glory Hall on North Franklin Street were not recommended for funding during this round.

An update on COVID mitigation measures will be presented and the commission will consider a rezoning application in the North Douglas area.

The Assembly’s Committee of the Whole meeting is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. on Monday.

The Assembly’s Public Works and Facilities Committee will meet during the lunch hour.

Topping the agenda of the Assembly’s Public Works and Facilities Committee during the noon hour Monday is the site selection process for a new town hall.

Recommended sites include at the top of the downtown transportation hub that Watt prefers; renovate existing facilities; the former Public Security lot on Whittier Street; and Walmart billing.

Regarding the Walmart Building, Watt said it was built like a big box store and it would be very difficult to try and turn it into offices. “But the public wants us to dig into this and we will. It’s part of the public process.”

The committee will review the priority list for legislative capital projects and update its goals for 2022.

A snow removal update is also planned and snow berms will be discussed, according to Watt.

A memo to the committee from Katie Koester, director of engineering and public works, says clearing berms within 48 hours would cost more than $ 1.9 million per year in labor, plus an investment substantial in additional equipment.


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