Teri Camery, City and Borough of Juneau Senior Planner at Wetlands Review, goes over the revised flood insurance rate maps during the Committee of the Whole meeting Monday. (Gregory Philson | Juneau Empire)

Teri Camery, City and Borough of Juneau Senior Planner at Wetlands Review, goes over the revised flood insurance rate maps during the Committee of the Whole meeting Monday. (Gregory Philson | Juneau Empire)

New waste management site decision in the hands of the city

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported Teri Camery’s position as Senior Planner at Wetlands Review Board. Camery is the City and Borough of Juneau Senior Planner.

The location of a new all-inclusive waste management site is now in the hands the of the city.

City Manager Rorie Watt proposed the city enter a lease agreement with Waste Management to use its Capitol Disposal Landfill at 5600 Tonsgard Court during a Committee of the Whole meeting Monday.

With this proposed option, the city would have a new recycling building built by Waste Management and the program would be operated by WM under a 30-year contract. The City and Borough of Juneau would lease land for the household hazardous waste (HHW) and composting programs and could build the structure and operate those programs. It would cost $12,500 per year.

The other option presented during Monday’s meeting was purchasing Construction Machinery Industrial-owned 5.4-acre property on Anka Street in Lemon Creek. The appraised cost of the property is $3.3 million. At this particular property, an existing building would be renovated and modified for a recycling program and a new structure would be built for the HHW program. There is also land for a composting program. This option was presented but not recommended as the first choice by Watt.

Watt explained cost flow and not spending a large sum of money up front factored into his recommendation.

“I think on a cash flow basis it is easier if we don’t have big-dollar items right now and we can spend the money over time,” Watt said. “And it also leaves 5.5 acres of industrially zoned land (the CMI property) in the community. So somebody will find a beneficial use for it, pay property tax on it and provide industrial activity.”

The recommendation to go with Watt’s option was approved by a 8-1 vote. Committee member Loren Jones was the lone dissenting vote and said he had concerns the city would not have as much control leasing property as it would buying property and having its own facility to run.

“I was just disappointed that the manager did not talk more control over when the hours operation would be, how easily the public can access the source-separated recycle and to get the program going to divert more of the waste,” Jones said. “Every time we negotiate with another company it can cost us money, and if it is our shop and we are operating it, we can rearrange hours.”

Watt said he understood Jones’ concerns and said he will attempt to negotiate with Waste Management on having the city have more control over operations.

“Mr. Jones’ concern is very important and something I am trying to work on,” Watt said. “I haven’t obtained it yet though. If I don’t obtain it, I might be back telling the Assembly ‘I could not work out the details.’ But, it is my hope that we can get there.”

The recommendation Monday also included selling four lots of CBJ-owned property to Alaskan Brewing Company near its brewery on Shaune Drive in Lemon Creek. The appraised cost of the four lots is $2.87 million. Those lots contain the water utility and household hazardous waste facilities. The water utility will move to the old Valley Street maintenance shop and HHW will relocate to the Waste Management site.

The Assembly will vote on the decision of the waste management site and the sale of the lots to Alaskan Brewing at its regular meeting June 4.

COW presented proposed flood insurance map

An overall decrease in flood zones in Juneau was part of a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program floodplain maps presentation at Monday’s committee meeting.

Teri Camery, CBJ Senior Planner, went over the proposed revised map and compared it to the 2013 map. The proposed maps added 45 parcels but removed 191 parcels in areas around Lemon Creek, Duck Creek and coastal regions. Camery said any parcel that has a federally-backed mortgage and is in the floodplain is required to get flood insurance under this program, which has been in place in the city since 1981.

Camery explained that the public plays a major role in how the finalized maps work out. Public comment is being accepted until July 9.

“It is very important to meet the deadline,” Camery said. “The point is to point out any inaccuracies.”

Camery said while the city works with FEMA all the time, making sure there is enough time for the organization to consider all comments is helpful. Watt said making sure the public knows it can comment and help the mapping process is key to having an accurate and detailed map.

“While these are much better maps with much better information, we do not want the public to be lulled into the sense that everything is perfect,” Watt said. “We want people to go the interactive site.”

The public may look at the current and revised maps and comment by visiting www.juneau.org. FEMA will go over recommendations and issue a letter of final determination to adopt the revised maps.

The city Planning Commission and Assembly will have six months after receiving the letter to adopt the revised floods maps.

 


 

• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at gphilson@juneauempire.com or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.

 


 

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