Anchorage mayor to push lawmakers for millions in city, port improvements

Nathaniel Herz

Renovations to the deteriorating Loussac Library and construction of a new transit center in Midtown are among the top items on Anchorage's annual request to the state legislature, which Mayor Dan Sullivan released in draft form Tuesday. The city is asking for $10 million for the library and $8 million for the transit center in the draft request, which still must be approved

by the Assembly, and could be amended. Other high-priority requests include:

• $25 million to replace the offices of the city's Department of Health and Human Services.

• $12.5 million for the reconstruction of Spenard Road.

• $12.25 million for relocation and reconstruction of Mulcahy Stadium near the Chester Creek.

• And $250 million to complete a languishing expansion project at the Port of Anchorage.

An identical request for the port project went unfulfilled last year, but the city next week plans to announce the hiring of a new manager for the development, which Sullivan's office says should help push forward the long-delayed work.

The proposal is essentially a city "wish-list" that will be distributed to state lawmakers, and lobbied for by the mayor's office when the legislative session starts in January. The package includes capital requests, which are generally for long-term projects that will last for years, as well as annual requests to pay for city programs that could have statewide impact. This year's state capital budget, however, is expected to be smaller than last year's, with revenues likely to drop due to oil tax reductions passed by the Legislature.

Sullivan is also asking lawmakers to introduce several pieces of legislation, one of which would allow the city to publish notices online instead of in newspapers. Another would loosen the conditions required to convict a person of second degree sexual assault, while a third measure would ban sex offenders from using a city park as their registered address.


By Nathaniel Herz