As 2019 sunsets, a look back
As we head into 2020, here’s a look back at the top ten ways CBJ made an impact in 2019 (in no particular order):
1. CARES Program: Capital City Fire/Rescue took over management of Juneau’s sleep off program in July. With the new management came a new model of proactively connecting people with needed services to reduce reliance on emergency services. CARES stands for Community Assistance Response and Emergency Services.
2. Investing more resources where it’s needed: CBJ invested significantly more resources in public safety and social services to combat the intertwined issues of crime, addiction, mental health, and homelessness.
3. CLIA Settlement: CBJ and Cruise Lines International Association Alaska reached an agreement in March, ending almost three years of litigation. “This agreement solves the underlying tension between Juneau’s need to exercise local control and CLIA’s need to have predictable applications of the law,” City Manager Rorie Watt said at the time.
4. Prioritizing Senior Housing: In August, CBJ purchased 2.35 acres of land in Vintage Park that will solely be used for senior assisted living. A bid packet was issued in September for a senior assisted living housing developer, and CBJ will continue to make progress toward this long-standing community goal in 2020.
5. New Eaglecrest Cabin: Eaglecrest Ski Area and the Juneau Community Foundation held a grand opening for the Hilda Dam Cabin in September. The cabin offers another opportunity for Juneau’s families and visitors to experience the outdoors in a beautiful mountain setting.
6. First Pederson Hill Lots Sold: In its first ever land lottery, the CBJ Lands and Resources Division put six lots in the newly developed Pederson Hill Subdivision up for sale in December, and all six were sold. More lots of the 17-lot Phase 1 continue to sell in the current over-the-counter sale.
7. New Programming for Families & Seniors: Parks & Recreation continues to make Juneau a fun and healthy place to live. In October and December, the department held its first two Movie in the Park events, and more are planned for 2020. Senior Open Gym kicked off in November, open every Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Mount Jumbo Gym in Douglas.
8. Biosolids Dryer: CBJ’s new biosolids dryer came online at the Mendenhall Wastewater Treatment Plant in August. It dries wastewater sludge, greatly reduces pathogens, and enables CBJ to handle the final product at a greatly reduced cost. Stay tuned for more information on the project in 2020.
9. Big Projects : Construction is currently under way for Phase Three of the Statter Harbor Master Plan, which includes more float moorage for charter operations. Docks & Harbors also started Phase 1 of the Downtown Waterfront Improvement project in the Archipelago Lot area this summer. Bartlett Regional Hospital started renovations at the Rainforest Recovery Center. When the project is complete, there will be expanded services for drug and alcohol treatment programs.
10. CBJ took a ride on the State Budget Roller Coaster… and survived!
Of course, there are the countless other ways CBJ and its employees positively impact the daily lives of Juneau residents that never make the news or a Top Ten list. With that said, CBJ is always striving to do better, looking ahead, and planning for the future. Here’s to 2020.