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2011 Ballot Propositions

April 1, 2011

Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage

On the ballot this year are three bonds proposed by the Anchorage School District. Also be sure to listen in for an explanation of Propositions 4-11.

If you are looking for a specific proposition, here are the starting times that you can hear each proposition in the recording:

  • Proposition 1: 0:00
  • Proposition 2: 1:25
  • Proposition 3: 2:10
  • Proposition 4: 2:52
  • Proposition 5: 5:40
  • Proposition 6: 7:27
  • Proposition 7: 8:31
  • Proposition 8: 9:40
  • Proposition 9: 11:45
  • Proposition 10: 12:34
  • Proposition 11: 13:47

Photo by Patrick Yack, APRN – Anchorage: Len Anderson hosts the School Board portion of Running 2011.

Download Audio (MP3)

The Anchorage School District has three bond propositions on the April 5th municipal ballot.

Proposition One is the largest request.   It seeks voter approval for $37,132,000 to complete the renovation and additions to Service High School.   The overall renovation of the approximately 40-year-old facility has involved previous construction stages.  The current request represents the final phase.  The project includes career, technical and vocational classroom, dining and food services, physical education and ROTC areas, performing arts classrooms and a 700-seat auditorium.

The school district says the Service High renovation qualifies for 60 percent or $16,800,000 in state debt reimbursement.  The property tax cost to retire Proposition One bonds is estimated at $5.19 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. Annual operations and maintenance costs would be approximately one dollar and 12-cents per $100,000.

The district says when completed, the renovations reduce the current operating and maintenance costs at that part of Service High.

As is true for all three school district bonds, property tax payers throughout the municipality would cover for the bonds.

Proposition Two contains district-wide building “life extension” and design projects.  It seeks approval for $16,865,000 in bonds with state covering either 60 to 70 percent of the cost for most of the projects.   The state reimbursement helps fund school district capital maintenance projects across the state considered too large for general operating budgets.

In Proposition Two, 18 schools would receive design or improvement projects.  The latter include roof replacements, heating system renovations, safety and lighting upgrades and communication work.  Various relocatable classrooms would also be upgraded.

With state reimbursement, the property tax cost to retire the bonds is estimated at one dollar and $1.52 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

Proposition Three is a request for $17,000,000 dollars in bonds to improve and expand career, technical and vocational educational program facilities at six district high schools, five middle schools and the King Career Center.

Proposition Three projects qualify for 70 percent state reimbursement.  The impact on property taxes is estimated at $1.30-cents per $100,000 of assessed valuation.  As with Proposition Two, there are no operations and maintenance costs associated with this bond.

Last year the Anchorage School District had no bond requests before the voters.

Proposition Four is the largest of five Anchorage municipal bond requests on the April 5th ballot.

It’s officially entitled “Anchorage Roads and Drainage Service Area Road and Storm Drainage Bonds.”

Proposition Four requests voter approval to issue general obligation bonds up to $30,850,000 dollars for design and construction work throughout the service area.

They include 22 roadway, two traffic department, six safety and three drainage projects.    Mayor Dan Sullivan describes the amount of the proposition’s road and drainage proposal as the smallest in years.

Sullivan notes the bonds are mostly directed toward maintaining and renovating existing infrastructure rather than new construction.

Seventy-five percent of the bond money would go to projects ready to begin this year.

Among Proposition Four projects scattered across the Anchorage Road and Drainage Service Area:

- $7,300,000 for 9th Avenue Reconstruction from Cordova to LaTouche Streets

– $3,000,000 for various pavement rehab projects

– $1,950,000 for the Dowling Road, Spruce Street Snow Disposal Site,

– $1,300,000 for the 73rd and 74th Avenue Waterline Extension

– $1,000,000 for intersection and traffic safety improvements, and

– $650,000  for signal systems, signage and safety improvements

– Also construction starts for road upgrades for Arlene Street/Pelican and Kingfisher Drive area, Raspberry Road and Arctic Boulevard to C Street.

Some smaller projects include

–$500,000 for school safety zones

– $250,000 for pedestrian safety, and

– $100,000 to construct miscellaneous American Disability Act improvements around the city.

If approved, the increase in property taxes per $100,000 of assessed valuation is approximately 10 dollars annually to retire the bonds with an additional $2.11 per $100,000 for annual maintenance and operation costs.

Proposition Four’s $30,850,000 would provide a match for $31,000,000 in state grants.

While voters throughout the municipality will vote on Proposition Four, only those property owners living within the Anchorage Roads and Drainage Service Area will pay for them.  That area includes much of the Anchorage Bowl, but not property tax payers in Girdwood, Eagle River/Chugiak or most of the Hillside.

Proposition Five on the April 5th municipal ballot is entitled “Anchorage Bowl Parks and Recreation Service Area Capital Improvement Bonds.”

It requests voter approval for up to $3,000,000 dollars in general obligation bonds to improve trails, neighborhood parks, family recreation areas, recreation facilities and portions of the football stadium.

A broad breakdown of the bond projects shows:

$500,000 toward various neighborhood parks.  The money continues a plan that would rehabilitate all service area parks in six years.

$1,000,000 toward repair and renovation of Greenbelt trails.

$1,000,000 for upgrades to the football stadium concession and locker room facility.  Both are currently closed due to serious structural and seismic deficiencies.

And $500,000 dollars for the South Anchorage Sports Complex.

If approved, Proposition Five would require an estimated 88 cents per $100,000 of assessed valuation and approximately $1.12 per year to cover for operations and maintenance costs.

While voters throughout the municipality decide the fate of Proposition Five, only those property owners living in the Anchorage Bowl Parks and Recreation Service Area will cover its costs.   If approved, Proposition Five would not affect the property taxes in Chugiak, Eagle River, Girdwood and other areas outside the Anchorage Bowl Parks and Recreation Service Area.

Proposition Six would impact property tax payers throughout the municipality of Anchorage.   It appears on the April ballot as “Areawide Public Safety and Transit Capital Improvement Bonds.”   The bond proposition is for 941-thousand [$941,000] dollars.

The largest portion–$520,000–is for ambulance replacement, which includes equipment.

The remainder goes to public transportation for support vehicles, along with disability access and information projects.  That portion [John—for graphics $421,000] would attract $1,684,000 in matching federal funds.

If the voters pass Proposition Six, the cost to property tax payers would be 24 cents per $100,000 of assessed valuation to retire the bonds and three 3 cents per $100,000 valuation annually for operations and maintenance.

The costs for the Proposition Six bonds would be covered by property tax payers throughout the Municipality of Anchorage.

Proposition Seven on Tuesday’s April 5th ballot is titled, “Anchorage Fire Service Area Fire Protection Bonds.”  The requested bonds total up to $1,150,000.  The money would replace a ladder truck and other related capital costs.

The original ladder truck was destroyed by fire.

If approved, the cost to retire the Proposition Seven bonds is estimated at 31-cents per $100,000 of assessed valuation for property tax payers in the Anchorage Fire Service Area.   Because it is a replacement and not a new ladder truck, the operations and maintenance costs were already approved with the earlier truck.

Voters throughout the municipality will decide Proposition Seven, but only those in the Anchorage Fire Service Area will cover the bonds.  The Anchorage Fire Service Area is roughly the Anchorage bowl and portions of Eagle River.  It does not include Chugiak, Birchwood, Peters Creek, Girdwood and portions of Glen Alps and Rabbit Creek.

Property tax payers in those areas would not be affected if Proposition Seven is approved.

Proposition Eight is “Anchorage Metropolitan Police Service Area Facilities Bonds.”  This bond package is the smallest of the eight proposals voters will consider.  Its total is $250,000.

The ballot states the money will go toward “improvements to public safety facilities and related police protection capital improvements.”

What that means is that the bond money would purchase and install a new cooling system in the police department’s dispatch center.  Because the dispatch equipment is used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the dispatch area can become too warm.  This installation would keep the computers at a proper temperature.

Voter approval of Proposition Eight will raise property taxes in the Anchorage Metropolitan Police Service area by 06 cents per $100,000 of assessed valuation to retire the bonds.  No additional operations and maintenance cost are required.

The Anchorage Metropolitan Police Service area includes the Anchorage bowl, Hillside and Eagle River/Chugiak.

It does not include Girdwood, Bird Creek and Indian.

However, voters throughout the municipality of Anchorage may vote on Proposition Eight.

While the majority of the 11 propositions on this spring’s Anchorage municipal ballot involve bond proposals, three do not.   Proposition Nine presents a property tax exemption; Proposition 10, downtown parking tickets; and Proposition 11 is an advisory concerning mandatory picture IDs for over-the-counter alcohol purchases.

Proposition Nine reads, “May the municipality by ordinance grant a disabled veteran real property tax exemption to an eligible widow or widower under age sixty?”

Currently disabled veterans and seniors get 150-thousand dollars exemption on their assessed valuation when figuring their property taxes.  If approved, Proposition Nine would include surviving spouses.

Mayor Dan Sullivan said his staff estimates the total taxes that would need to be covered would range between $14,000 to $76,000.

If approved, the tax exemption becomes retroactive to January 1, 2011.

Proposition 10 asks voters, “Shall Anchorage Municipal Charter Article XXI, Municipal Code enforcement  standards, be amended to authorize a limited delegation of downtown parking violation enforcement to a municipal authority or municipal agency….?”

That municipal authority could only ticket violations such as expired meters or parking in a handcapped or no parking zone.  And its jurisdiction boundaries would be Ship Creek on the north, Gambell Street on the east, 10th Avenue on the south and M Street on the west.

The municipal charter now allows only sworn police officers to issue tickets.

Downtown businesses say stricter enforcement of legal parking times would lead to increased space turnover and more customers.   Some critics worry the new agency might replicate the past, over-zealous enforcement policies of a previous municipal agency.  Those actions led to the charter change demanding only sworn officers could issue tickets.

Mayor Sullivan says the most likely group to take over from the officers would be the Community Development Authority.

Unlike all the other 10 propositions on the ballot, number 11 is advisory and involves a policy that the Anchorage Assembly has yet to resolve.  It reads, “Should the Municipality of Anchorage require mandatory photo identification for sale of alcohol by package liquor stores?”   Again, Proposition 11 is advisory and will not automatically produce a change in law.

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