Empire Archives is a series printed every Saturday featuring a short compilation of headline stories in the Juneau Empire from archived editions in 1985, 1995 and 2005.
This week in 1985, municipal election voters in Juneau prepared to decide whether to authorize the city to sell $9 million of bonds (approximately $25.5 million today) to expand and remodel Bartlett Memorial Hospital, now known as Bartlett Regional Hospital. The 1985 proposal similarly mirrors the cost of the 2023 Ballot Proposition 1 — the only one on the ballot this fall — which asks voters whether to approve $27 million in bond debt to fund the construction of a new City Hall, estimated to cost a total of $43.3 million. Unlike in 1985, voting is already underway today via the switch to the city’s vote-by-mail hybrid election.
Original Story: Voters to decide on hospital bond” by Bruce Scandling 09/24/1985
This week in 1995, concerns about funding youth activities from a temporary 3% sales tax were brought to the Assembly, with opponents arguing the funding of such activities was too vague and could prevent the ballot measure from passing altogether during the 1995 municipal election. In the end it did pass and continues to be in effect today. In 2021, a five-year extension of the 3% tax was passed by voters to go toward CBJ infrastructure and borough services.
Original Story: “Sales tax use concerns to be heard” by Mark Sabbatini. 09/13/1995
This week in 2005, it was announced eligible residents in Alaska would receive a Permanent Fund dividend check of $845.76 (approximately $1,305 today), which was less than the year prior and the lowest amount issued since 1988. At the time the fund’s director and state officials attributed the low amount to poor investment returns from 2002 and 2003, the fiscal year affected by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, along with corporate accounting scandals.
In 2022, the PFD amount was $3,284. The Alaska Legislature this May passed its budget with a $1,304 PFD and, according to the state, the first payments of the 2023 PFD will be deposited on Oct. 5.
Original Story: “Permafund dividend dips to $845.76” by Andrew Petty. 09/21/2005
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 528-1807.