Assembly moves money for maintenance projects

At its Monday meeting, the Juneau Assembly approved a loan of no more than $2.75 million from the city’s central treasury to remodel the Capital Transit maintenance shop, which is in “substantial need of renovation,” according to city manager Kim Kiefer.

The maintenance shop, also known as the bus barn, is located in the area behind Pavitt Health and Fitness, just beyond Brotherhood Bridge. It’s where the city works on its buses, which are run for hundreds of thousands of miles and require maintenance.

“It hasn’t been taken care of in a long time,” Kiefer said after the meeting. The renovations will include new siding and a new bus wash station. 

City Finance Director Bob Bartholomew told the Assembly the funding for the project, which will be ready to bid this month, will come from the city’s general government available fund balance. The fund balance has about $9 million in it currently.

The project is already partially funded but remaining funds for project, which will cost about $4 million, won’t become available until July 1 when the fiscal year rolls over. This is where the loan comes in. The city can’t award a bid for construction if a project isn’t fully funded.

If the city were to wait until July 1 to bid the project, it would be too late in the construction season to move forward, and the project would have to wait until next year. That could make the project more expensive due to inflation, Kiefer said.

Assembly member Jerry Nankervis asked what the city’s “risk exposure” would be if it awarded the loan. Bartholomew replied “minimal.” He elaborated that he expects the city will receive enough sales tax in the coming fiscal year to cover whatever portion of the loan is used.

The Assembly also voted Monday to appropriate $300,000 to rebuild the roof of the Juneau International Airport’s maintenance shop. The city had Jensen Yorba Lott Inc. investigate the condition of the leaky roof, and the architectural firm concluded that “further patching will not be adequate,” Kiefer said.

The funding for that project will from the airport’s fund balance.

The Assembly also approved export manufacturing property tax exemptions for three businesses: Alaska Glacier Seafoods Inc., Taku Smokeries and Alaskan Brewing Company.

The total assessed value of those properties is $14.8 million; their total taxable value after the requested exemptions would be $6.1 million. That means the total taxes due on their assessed value would be about $65,000, more than $69,000 shy of what the city would get without the exemptions.

• Contact Sam DeGrave at 523-2279 or sam.degrave@juneauempire.com.

Editor’s Note: Clarification: An earlier version of this article stated that the bus barn project would cost $6 million in all, based on estimates from the city manager and city finance director. On Thursday, the city’s Capital Transit Superintendent Ed Foster clarified that it would cost $4 million.

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