Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is requesting $350 million from the state for the troubled Port of Anchorage. The port appropriation request is by far the largest chunk of the roughly $670 million the municipality is requesting in the upcoming state budget. The requests were presented to Anchorage legislators on Tuesday afternoon. Sullivan’s priorities, including the port, total about $389 million.
According to the narrative attached to the request for the port, “The Municipality now exercises complete control over the Project and determines how state and local funds are utilized. As of August 2014, the Municipality has shifted the goal of the project from what was an ‘expansion’ to a modernization initiative.”
“Modernization” is one way to put it. Anchorage has been trying to expand the troubled port for more than a decade. Because of a failed design, and flawed federal oversight, about $300 million has been spent on the project and it still hasn’t been expanded. The municipality did get new roads, utilities, and land for that money. And it got a lot of fingers pointing at each other. The mess is now in court.
In any case, Anchorage isn’t likely to get nearly that much money. Oil sunk to about $65 a barrel on Tuesday, which means that the state is facing huge budget deficits. Former Gov. Sean Parnell’s budget, which is sort of being used as a blueprint by the new administration, has budgeted about $219 million in capital projects.
Among other Sullivan priorities:
- $14 million to complete the 100th Ave extension between C St. and Minnesota Dr.
- Almost $10 million for the Chester Creek Complex improvements. Here’s a description:
Proposed improvements include relocation and reconstruction of Mulcahy Stadium with enhancements for both summer and winter multi-sport and multipurpose event use; expansion and reorientation of parking to facilitate traffic movement, pedestrian accessibilityj and safety, and additional exits to 16th Avenue and Gambell Street; a north-south pedestrian corridor along Cordova Street to facilitate pedestrian access and viewing for seasonal events, and a plaza/open area for outdoor vendors and events.
- $2 million for the new Midtown transit facility.
- $4.8 million for a Southcentral Law Enforcement Tactical Range/Construction. From the description:
The Southcentral Law Enforcement Tactical Range, a Campus of the Arctic Public Safety Training Institute (PSTI), will be a dedicated outdoor shooting facility with four individual ranges of different sizes to accommodate various types of firearms including long guns (rifles) and the simultaneous training of multiple agencies. The facility will enable area law enforcement personnel to maintain firearms proficiency in a safe setting, and to engage in realistic tactical training in a more appropriate venue than current public ranges.
Here’s some of the appropriations from departments across the city that caught my eye. (Read all of the funding requests here and let me know if anything interests you.)
- $2.2 million for Sitka Street Park. Here’s a description:
Funds will be used to build a skatepark and design and build a paved multi-use trail connecting to the Chester Creek Greenbelt.
- $1.95 million for the Anchorage Golf Course.
- $1.8 million for Performing Arts Center upgrades.
- $1.5 million to replace Glacier City Hall & Little Bears facilities in Girdwood
- $2,8 million for a Girdwood multi-purpose community building .
- $2.92 million for historical properties renovations.
- $550,000 for the Dena’ina Center. Description:
The Dena’ina Center was opened in Fall 2008 to allow for larger events to be introduced to Anchorage and Alaska. The success of the building far exceeded the anticipated usage from the beginning and components are beginning to show wear. To maintain the facility as State of the Art, items will need to be replaced when the lifecycle of the components are reached to attract national audiences to Anchorage and Alaska.
- $600,000. East High tennis court cover.
- $5 million for the Anchorage Museum. Description:
The Museum’s collections storage area is more than 40 years old in some areas and is outdated and insufficient in space and security. The HVAC system aged and in need of replacement to provide improved temperature and humidity control for the sensitive collections. The atrium and auditorium see high public use and are in need of a renovation.
Contact Amanda Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org