Alaska Digest

Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Assembly appropriates $673,467 for security

JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly appropriated $673,467 Monday night for first responder preparedness. The funds are provided by the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Of the amount, $565,467 will be used to purchase equipment for the fire department, emergency medical services, police department and Bartlett Regional Hospital. The remaining $108,000 will be used to conduct training and exercises.

The grant award runs from Sept. 25, 2003 to April 30, 2005.

Also Monday, the Assembly appropriated:

• $191,000 as partial funding to replace paratransit vans. The funds are provided by the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. This is a matching grant; the $18,959 match will be provided from Capital Transit's equipment and replacement reserve. The funds will replace four existing paratransit vans that have accumulated over 250,000 miles each in the Care-A-Van service.

• $13,301 as partial funding for airport development planning, and rehabilitation of the terminal wall and ceiling at the Juneau Airport. The funds are provided through passenger facility charges. The project has already been completed using an advance from the airport capital reserve account. This appropriation repaid that advance.

• $30,000 to complete a local all-hazard mitigation plan. The funds will be provided by the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 established that each community must have an adopted hazard mitigation plan in order to be eligible for federal Emergency Management Agency mitigation project funds.

• $5,000 for a live homework help/pilot project. The funds are provided by the state Department of Education Early Development. The grant funds a demonstration project offering online academic help in core subject areas as math, science, English and social studies for students in kindergarten through 12. Students in Juneau will be able to work with certified tutors in one-on-one, interactive computer sessions at terminals in any of three public libraries or from their home computers.

• The Assembly passed a resolution expressing support for federal legislation establishing a coordinated statewide avalanche protection program. U.S. senators Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski have introduced legislation, the federal Land Recreational Visitor Protection Act of 2003, directing the Secretary of the Interior to establish a coordinated avalanche control program.

The program would assist in the prevention, forecasting, detection and mitigation of avalanches.

• The Assembly also approved two-year liquor license renewals for the Triangle Club, Frontier Suites Hotel, Alaska Cache Liquor and Duck Creek Market.

Agency clears way for target launches

ANCHORAGE - The Missile Defense Agency set the stage Tuesday for future target missile launches from the Kodiak Launch Complex.

The agency formally extended the test range in the national ground-based missile defense system, said Army Maj. Eric Maxon at Fort Richardson.

"Basically it cleared the way for Missile Defense System launch targets out of Kodiak," Maxon said.

Maxon said he was not aware of any specific testing scheduled for Kodiak. He said any future target launches would likely be intercepted from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California or the Reagan Test Site from Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific.

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