Assembly OKs bond propositions for fall election

Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Juneau Assembly approved three bond propositions for the Oct. 2 municipal election at its regular meeting Monday night.

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Monday's meeting was the Assembly's last chance to approve ordinances to add propositions to the October ballot.

Voters will be asked to approve a total of $46.1 million in general obligation bonds on Oct. 2 for school renovations, a swimming pool and artificial turf fields. If approved by voters, some of the projects would be eligible for reimbursement by the state of Alaska.

The Assembly unanimously approved placing a $22.4 million bond proposition on the ballot for elementary school reconstruction. If approved by voters, $15.3 million would go toward renovation of Harborview Elementary School and $7.1 million would go toward renovating Glacier Valley Elementary School.

City Manager Rod Swope said the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development has determined that the school renovation projects are eligible for 70 percent reimbursement by the state of Alaska under the state's School Construction Bond Debt Reimbursement Program.

The $15.3 million in bond money for the Harborview renovation would be combined with an existing $5.1 million set aside by the Juneau School District. The $20.4 million renovation would include electrical and mechanical upgrades for ventilation and fire alarms systems, as well as replacement of some furniture, fixtures and equipment.

The $7.1 million in bond money for the Glacier Valley renovations would be combined with nearly $6 million in bonds authorized by voters in the 2005 general election and roughly $1.7 million set aside by the district.

The Assembly voted Monday to place a $19.8 million bond proposition on the October ballot to plan, design and construct a new swimming pool at the Dimond Park in the Mendenhall Valley.

The project would qualify for 43.7 percent reimbursement by the State of Alaska, Swope said.

Assembly member Sara Chambers voted against the adding the proposition to Oct. 2 ballot. A low voter turnout approved the project, and it could place a burden on taxpayers during increasingly difficult economic times, she said.

The Assembly also voted to place a $3.9 million bond proposition on the ballot to acquire and install artificial turf fields at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park baseball field and the Melvin Park softball field. The projects would not qualify for reimbursement from the state.

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