Senior housing funding in public works bill

Sewer system expansion money also part of measure

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2002

The Juneau delegation is picking up construction and maintenance projects piecemeal through general obligation bonds bills and the capital budget making their way through the Legislature.

With less than a week left in the session, Juneau lawmakers are working to include projects for road maintenance, building construction and other funding needs.

The capital budget, Senate Bill 247, was given preliminary approval by the Senate on Thursday. The bill adds several Juneau public-works projects that didn't make it into the bonds package passed last week by the House.

New projects in the capital budget include:

• $1.9 million for a North Douglas sewer extension project. Expansion of the areawide sewer system will involve a combined highway and beachfront sewer system for North Douglas that will eventually extend from the Douglas Bridge to the Bay View subdivision. The project is scheduled to have the new sewer system extend from the bridge to the Bonnie Brae subdivision by 2006.

• $338,000 for senior housing at Fireweed Place apartments in downtown Juneau. In late April, Senior Citizen Support Services, which runs the complex, was denied a request for loan forgiveness from the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. The complex, built in 1995, has never reached full capacity and may face foreclosure. The group also has asked for money from the city.

• $150,000 for a mobile mammography unit at Bartlett Regional Hospital. Hospital CEO Bob Valliant said the current unit, which serves Southeast communities from Yakutat to Craig, will not meet federal accreditation standards in October. He said the hospital will seek another $150,000 in hospital revenue or from a public benefactor to pay for the $300,000 unit.

• $150,000 to design a recreation center and swimming pool at Dimond Park in the Mendenhall Valley. The appropriation also will be used to estimate costs and hold public meetings to gather comments.

• $48,000 for alcohol- and drug-prevention programs in the Juneau Wellness Court.

"I feel very comfortable that (the capital budget is) going to end up in the right mix of new school construction, school maintenance, fairly balanced toward where the needs are," Gov. Tony Knowles said at a press conference Thursday.

The budget, however, does not include the $27.9 million needed for a new high school in the Valley.

Other Juneau projects that didn't make the cut:

• $1.1 million for security and maintenance at Juneau Airport.

• $2.3 million to conduct an environmental impact study for the Juneau Access project, which includes a road to Skagway with a shuttle ferry across Lynn Canal to Haines.

• $350,000 for the Juneau Raptor Center, which cares for injured eagles and other birds of prey.

Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at timothyi@juneauempire.com.



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