Alaska capital budget includes $500 million for Anchorage

Rosemary Shinohara

Anchorage came out well in the Legislature's capital budget, with about $500 million in state and federal money designated to be spent in the city, Mayor Dan Sullivan said Wednesday.

That counts money for municipal projects as well as the university, school district, state construction and grants to specific organizations. It includes about $350 million in state money and $150 million in federal money. The projects range from $37.5 million for the beleaguered Port of Anchorage expansion to around $20,000 for a Mountain View Elementary School technology upgrade.

Sullivan said the city's priorities -- for example, the port money, and nearly $10 million for renovations to city buildings such as the library, Sullivan Arena, museum and Alaska Center for the Performing Arts -- were covered.

Moreover, Sullivan said he had talked to Gov. Sean Parnell on Wednesday, and the governor assured him he supports the $10 million for city buildings.

The Legislature passed a huge capital budget, nearly $4 billion statewide, much more than Parnell has said he would accept. He has said he'd support a capital budget of about $2.8 billion. The governor gets 20 days to decide on vetoes, after the Legislature formally sends the budget to him.

Sullivan said the city will help the governor's office sort through Anchorage projects, for example, by figuring out which road projects are ready to go this year and which can wait.

One of Sullivan's priorities that didn't get through was $4 million to develop the South Anchorage Sports Park at C Street and Klatt Road. Sullivan said the project changed when the city learned the park had too much peat to support a building he had envisioned. He still wants to put in a water system for ball parks, and build a fenced dog park, among other amenities. "I think we can make a better case next year," he said.

Here's a sampling of projects the Legislature funded in Anchorage, in addition to the port work and city building renovations:

• $34 million for a new University of Alaska Anchorage sports arena.

• $20 million in state funds to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium for a long-term care facility in Anchorage.

• $8 million to expand the Blood Bank of Alaska.

• $6 million for pavement rehabilitation on Anchorage streets.

• $5 million for drainage projects.

• $4.2 million to upgrade the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center.

• $3.6 million to continue reconstruction of Ninth Avenue.

• $3 million for a Cook Inlet Tribal Council demonstration project.

• $3 million for a Covenant House Alaska facility.

• $3 million to help renovate West Anchorage High School and Romig Middle School, plus about another half-million dollars for furniture, technology and the like at West.

• $2 million to the Dimond High School Alumni Projects, Inc., to replace the Dimond track.

• $1.5 million for a law enforcement shooting range and $1.4 million for digital video recorders in Anchorage police cars.

• $1.5 million for Muldoon Community Park.

• $715,000 to expand the often over-filled Glen Alps trail head, used to get to Flattop and other areas of Chugach State Park.

Reach Rosemary Shinohara at or 257-4340.

Read more about the capital budget