The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly will make multiple decisions on long-term topics tonight.
Most pressing is the approval of the city’s budget for next year, one that amounts to $335 million. The CBJ Finance Committee met regularly since early April and reached an agreement on how to balance the budget at its May 10 meeting.
The budget goes in front of the Assembly for final approval at tonight’s 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall. The Assembly will take public comment at the meeting.
Initially, the city estimated a $1.9 million shortfall for the budget, but by the end of the process the committee only ended up needing to take $800,000 out of its reserves to balance the budget. The remainder comes from revenues from money set aside from tobacco tax, hotel tax and property tax (amounting to about $750,000) and reductions and corrections from other parts of the budget (amounting to about $350,000).
The Assembly members can accept the budget as is or can propose amendments at the meeting. It’s not unusual to see last-minute amendments, Finance Director Bob Bartholomew said last week.
The other long-standing issue on the table is that of alcohol sales at Eaglecrest Ski Area. The Assembly has discussed the possibility since February, including two Committee of the Whole meetings in May. At the May 1 meeting, Interim General Manager Nate Abbott and Board of Directors Chairman Mike Stanley spoke to the committee about their proposal.
Alcohol sales would start at noon and would stop selling within one hour of the lifts closing, Abbott said at that meeting. Sales would be limited to beer, wine, alcoholic ciders and similar beverages, not including hard liquor. Assembly members had a number of questions, mostly relating to safety and ensuring that customers aren’t overserved.
“The Board of Directors fully understand these concerns,” Stanley said at the meeting. “We’re not looking to have a full-on bar at Eaglecrest. We’re looking to serve our constituency with what I call a day pub. It’s not gonna be in our interest to keep this facility open after hours. It’s just not our intent.”
At the Committee of the Whole meeting May 22, the committee voted to forward the resolution to the Assembly, amending the types of liquor that can be served to limit it to beer, wine, alcoholic ciders and “other similar malt beverages.” The ski area would be able to serve alcohol this coming ski season.
• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at email@example.com or 523-2271.