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)

Empire Live: Assembly meeting at City Hall

Roads are getting a lot of attention tonight

Summary: While the parcels of land DOT wants to buy are quite small, some members of the Assembly are concerned about the impacts of the proposed projects. It was determined that further consultation with DOT was needed before the Assembly would be willing to approve the sale.

7:45 p.m.

There was a third parcel of land DOT wants to buy, near Floyd Dryden Middle School, but considering the objection to the previous project Watt amends his request saying it seems he must consult with DOT. Assembly votes to send the proposal back to the Lands Committee.

7:35 p.m.

Bryson is not opposing the ultimate sale of city land to DOT, just their plan as it currently exists. “Not a single resident I’ve spoken to is in favor of this plan,” Bryson says, at least not one who doesn’t work for DOT, he adds.

Assembly member Rob Edwardson agrees that Bryson’s concern is a legitimate one.

Watt suggests that a “do-nothing” option might not be beneficial because DOT then might not make improvements at all.

Assembly member Michelle Hale objects sending the project back to the Public Works Committee.

Edwardson says he thinks that moving ahead now will essentially mean approval because, “we’re not going to get to the 11th hour and then vote no.” Edwardson adds that he is in favor of DOT’s plan but believes Bryson’s concerns to be valid.

Assembly votes to not allow Watt to begin negotiations with DOT for land near the intersection of Mendenhall Loop Road and Stephen Richards Drive.

DOT’s plans for the project can be found here.

7:25 p.m.

DOT is making a similar request for an area near Mendenhall Loop Road and Stephen Richards Road.

Assembly member Wade Bryson raises an objection to this project, and DOT’s other proposal for yet another project at Mendenhall Loop Road and Floyd Dryden Middle School.

Bryson says he has been to many public meetings where members of the public have expressed concern at the project. He says he’s not sure if this is the best project and should go back to the public works committee.

There is some deliberation about what the exact process would be for sending the proposal back for re-examination.

7:20 p.m.

The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is looking to purchase certain parcels of city land in order to make road improvements. City Manager Rorie Watt requests authorization to work with DOT to work with the original proposer.

Assembly member Loren Jones has some concerns about the map provided to the Assembly showing the area for the proposed project.

The Assembly authorizes Watt to work with DOT. The proposal if for improvements of Glacier Highway in Lemon Creek.

7:15 p.m.

The Assembly then passes an ordinance appropriating just under $48,000 from Marine Passenger Fees to the Open Space Waterfront Land Acquisition capital improvement project. Most of that money, more than $34,000, will go to Capital City Fire/Rescue.

7:10 p.m.

The first thing the Assembly does is amend the city’s procurement code to clarify that protests to a certain purchase the city is making must in received by 4:30 p.m. Alaska time, rather than the previous “end of business day.”

Next, the city is looking at amending a city code regarding boat launches. The current code says that vessels can only be left unattended at a boat launch when a person is actively parking or retrieving a trailer.

Based on public feedback from residents of Amalga Harbor and Huffman Cove, the Assembly looks to add the term, “float plane” to the list of vessels.

Greg Smith adds an amendment which would include the retrieval of boats into the code, not just boat launching.

7 p.m.

On the agenda for tonight: The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities wants to by some small parcels of city land to make adjustments at certain locations around town.

Tonight’s meeting agenda can be found here.

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