Juneau’s City Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s City Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

City awards Care-A-Van contract, OKs motor vehicle tax increase

Assembly passed a number of oridnances Monday night

The City Assembly passed ordinances awarding a contract for para-transit buses and increasing the city’s motor vehicle registration tax at its meeting Monday night.

Catholic Community Service received the contract for the city’s transport for elderly and disabled persons with a bid of $912,010, beating out Juneau Taxi for the service.

There was previously controversy regarding that contract because in April evaluators favored Juneau Taxi over Catholic Community Service, which has long operated the program that provides transportation to people with disabilities.

[Longtime Care-A-Van operator may lose bid to taxis]

“We were baffled how Juneau Taxi scored higher,” Erin Walker-Tolles, Executive Director for Catholic Community Service, told the Empire at the time.

Walker-Tolles told the Empire Tuesday the city withdrew the solicitation and CCS won the contract in a second sealed-bid submission.

Additionally, the city appropriated funds for the purchase of three para-transit buses with most funding coming from federal grants obtained by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

The city also passed ordinances appropriating funds for snow removal equipment to keep bus shelters clear of snow with the majority of funds similarly coming from DOT grants.

Beginning Jan. 1 2021, the city’s motor vehicle registration tax will rise from $44 to $70 for non-commercial vehicles and from $4 to $10 for motorcycles and non-commercial trailers, according to the text of the ordinance.

[City puts brakes on planned roundabouts.]

Commercial vehicles will remain exempt from the registration fees because some of those vehicles are already covered by business property taxes.

The Assembly voted to move forward with the sale of small parcels of land to DOT for the department’s plant to build two roundabouts on Mendenhall Loop Road. Sections of city land at Stephen Richards Drive and the Floyd Dryden Access Road will be sold to DOT to facilitate their plan.

Lastly, the Assembly introduced ordinances to be heard at the next regular meeting concerning the homeless services and the prohibition on the sale of so-called “dockless devices” in the downtown area.

At the next meeting the Assembly will vote to appropriate $10,000 in local matching funds to obtain a further $100,000 in grant funds from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. That money would be used to better coordinate local housing and homelessness services.

At it’s Dec. 2, meeting the Assembly discussed extending a moratorium on commercial rental of dockless, or micromobility devices such as bikes, electric bikes, scooters and electric scooters in the downtown area. At the next meeting the Assembly will vote on prohibiting commercial rental of such vehicles outright. If the prohibition ordinance fails, the Assembly will vote on extending the moratorium.

Neither ordinance would prohibit the use or sale of private micromobility devices downtown or on private property.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or psegall@juneauempire.com.

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