Juneau Chamber officials express concern over funding of Centennial Hall upgrades

    (L to R) Chamber Past President Richard Burns, President-elect Charlie Williams and Executive Director Craig Dahl

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau Chamber of Commerce is concerned that funding proposed for renovations at Centennial Hall could be in harm's way. The funding is proposed in two of the ballot propositions that will appear on the October 1 local election ballot.

    President-elect Charlie Williams, past President Richard Burns, and Executive Director Craig Dahl outlined their concern on Action Line.

    The Assembly okayed forwarding the propositions for Centennial Hall and a new arts and culture center to voters during a meeting earlier this month.
    Dahl said the Assembly threw a twist in right at the end of the meeting.   "Up until that time, there were two ballot initiatives for a yes-no vote to the public.  One was a two percent increase in the bed tax. The second called for approval of a $7 Million general obligation bond for the improvements at Centennial Hall.   Most of that debt payment would come from the two percent increase in the bed tax.  The $4.5 Million grant that would be then  directed to the new JACC would come from sales tax, however, originally that ordinance was written such that if the two percent bed tax or bond issue failed for Centennial Hall, the grant for the JACC would not be available"

    Williams explained that was a reallocation of the $4.5 Million that was originally for Centennial Hall.   So Dahl says voters could, in theory, reject the two percent bed tax and the $7 Million bond and still approve the advisory vote and that $4.5 Million would be taken away from Centennial Hall and Centennial Hall would essentially receive no funding.  Dahl said its been the chamber's position that its extremely important for Centennial Hall to be upgraded.  "uncoupling the propositions leaves funding for Centennial Hall in a vulnerable position," Williams said.

    Burns said the fact remains that voters have already approved funding for Centennial Hall upgrades.  "And so this is just coming back to the table one more time and that's exactly what could happen," he said.  "You could get a new JACC, you get get no Centennial Hall upgrades at all."


    More from News of the North


    • Stay Active Stay Bright

      SEARHC is challenging you to get out and track your time in the fresh air while being safe and seen. What: All-ages fall fitness challenge When:October 19th – November 16th Where: Any outdoor activity participants will track their active minutes outdoors to be eligible for some very bright weekly prizes. including high visibility jackets from Grundens! For more info and to sign up visit searhc.org/stayactivestaybright , or call Doug at 966-8674

      at None
    • CBS Pandemic Grant Programs for Businesses and Nonprofits

      The City and Borough of Sitka is now accepting grant applications from Sitka businesses and nonprofit organizations that have experienced severe economic impacts due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The deadline to apply for these grants is October 31st. Grant awards are anticipated in November, and all funds must be expended by December 30th, 2020. Separate applications for the business and nonprofit grants, guidelines and answers to questions are available on the CBS website, www.cityofsitka.org. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the downloadable forms as they include auto-calculation fields to help determine eligibility, and the potential grant amounts for the business applicants. Please contact CARES Act Grant Technician Rob Allen at 747 – 1824 with any questions.

      at None
    • Register for the AK Food Festival & Conference

      Registration is open for the 2020 Alaska Food Festival and Conference, which is going virtual on Friday and Saturday, Nov 6 – 7, this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a pre-conference movie on Thursday, Nov 5th. The two main themes are food entrepreneurship and rural and Indingenous food systems. For more info go to www.akfoodpolicycouncil.org

      at Zoom