Assembly reviews priorities, goals for next year

Budget woes, recycling, new infrastructure in city's 2010 outlook

Posted: Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Juneau is likely to see ongoing budgetary woes, possible transportation infrastructure improvements, waste management and recycling in 2010.

The Juneau Assembly discussed priorities and goals for the coming year, as well as challenges it anticipates, at what turned out to be the first half of its annual retreat Monday evening.

In City Manager Rod Swope's overview of major issues, he said in 2010 the city will have to deal with the projected budget deficit, a projected sales tax shortage on some projects funded by a voter-approved temporary 1 percent sales tax, waste management and recycling, the North Douglas crossing and West Douglas road extension, planning for the subport area, and long-term winter snow storage.

Swope said snow storage has been solved for the short term, but not the long term.

The Assembly discussed identifying its main priorities as a body for the year and was slated to discuss its legislative priorities, but ran out of time.

It did review more detailed, specific goals for the coming year, adding, removing or modifying some.

For example, the goal of eliminating sales tax on food and heating oil is not realistic between now and 2020, given the city's anticipated budget gap, Mayor Bruce Botelho said in written comments. David Stone, chairman of the Finance Committee, agreed.

Other goals achieved or under way were eliminated, including

• reviewing and revising the airport terminal and its parking,

• monitoring design, construction and management of the Dimond Park Aquatic Center, and

• reviewing ways to fund the arts.

Some goals, such as those having to do with waste management, were revised to reflect progress,

The Assembly scheduled a continuance of the retreat for 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9.

It is scheduled to discuss sales tax shortfalls at a Finance Committee meeting this Wednesday.

• Contact reporter Mary Catharine Martin at 523-2276 or maryc.martin@juneauempire.com.



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