An ordinance introduced at Monday’s city assembly meeting would allocate $110,000 to pay for legal services in the city’s lawsuit against Aparc Systems, a parking services company that city officials say has failed in providing Juneau an adequate metered-parking system..
The money would come from a 1 percent temporary sales tax that expired Sept. 30, 2013. The ordinance will go before a public hearing at the next assembly meeting on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.
“The City and Borough is being represented by outside counsel, with oversight by the Law Department,City Manager Kim Keifer’s stated in her report. The purpose of this appropriation would be to pay for legal services related to that lawsuit.”
The city announced in late December 2013 that it was cancelling its contract with Aparc and intends to sue the company. City Manager Kim Kiefer said after Monday’s meeting that it’s not certain how the city will proceed, but that it needs to have the funds to pay for any legal services it requires. Because the legal counsel is an unexpected expense, it was not written into the city budget, she said.
$150K for capital project
An ordinance approved Monday will allot $150,000 to a capital project aimed to help meet cruise ships’ demands for drinking water during the summer. The money will be transferred from the city’s Water Utility Fund, and will be used to fund the design for the rehabilitation of the Last Chance Basin Well Field.
“This past summer, the Water Utility was unable to supply cruise ships with a stable or predictable water supply,” the manager’s report stated. “Last month, staff from Engineering, Public Works and Manager’s Office met with cruise ship representatives to discuss the issue ... At that meeting, there was support from the industry representatives to use CBJ Marine Passenger Fees for well field rehabilitation.”
There is now $300,000 available for the well field rehabilitation, according to the report.
HR becomes own department
The assembly voted to establish the city’s Human Resource Risk Management as its own department. It’s currently a division of the administrative department, and is overseen by Human Resources Director Mila Cosgrove. Cosgrove recently took over HR at Bartlett Regional Hospital as well through a shared services agreement.
Assembly member Randy Wanamaker didn’t vote against establishing the department, but voiced his concern that the move was “premature.”
“I’m very hesitant about this ordinance,” Wanamaker said, because Bartlett will soon no longer need the city to run its human resources. “They will be revisiting this need in an additional study within the next couple of years.”
The assembly also approved amendments to the disturbing the peace code, “adding a section clarifying that the intent behind the ordinance is to prohibit unreasonable noise; and... defining ‘unreasonable noise’ as it relates to an objective ‘reasonable person’ standard, as has been approved by the Alaska Supreme Court.”
• Contact reporter Katie Moritz at 523-2294 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @katecmoritz.