Juneau Assembly to review smoking ban, labor agreements

Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Juneau Assembly will review the city's smoking ban, labor agreements and sewer extensions at its 7 p.m. Monday meeting at City Hall.

The Assembly will vote on whether to rename, amend and extend the Smoking in Public Places Ordinance. The new ordinance, called the Second-hand Smoke Control Code, was requested after the Eagles Club argued the city's smoking ban did not apply to the private fraternal club in the Mendenhall Valley.

The city chose not to enforce the ban at the club's bar because its specific type of liquor license, a "club license," was not listed in the law.

The reworked version is expected to close any perceived loopholes in the ordinance. New language extends the ban into private functions and outdoor seating areas of bars, restaurants and coffee shops.

Also on Monday night, the Assembly will introduce a law requiring city construction projects of more than $4 million to include project labor agreements.

Critics of the plan say the ordinance would effectively give all big construction projects to union companies, which would drive costs up and could jeopardize federal dollars on projects such as Thunder Mountain High School, which is a union job.

The law would apply to upcoming projects such as the Dimond Park Pool, the Juneau International Airport terminal remodel and runway extension, and Bartlett Regional Hospital.

The Assembly also will take action on an ordinance creating a Local Improvement District in the West Mendenhall Valley. If passed, landowners will pay a reduced rate for the city's sewer extension into their land.

The neighborhood voted no on the LID twice before. Many landowners said if the city was going to force sewer service, it would have to be a much cheaper option.

The proposed ordinance reduces the previous West Valley fee schedule by 60 percent. The Assembly is also expected to appropriate $6.75 million for the citywide sewer expansion, including $2 million for the West Valley project.

• Contact reporter Greg Skinnerat 523-2258 or greg.skinner@juneauempire.com.

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