Anchorage

Pot and lots of money: Six things about Tuesday’s Anchorage Assembly agenda

The Anchorage Assembly meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday on the bottom floor of the Loussac Library.

The two big topics? Marijuana and money. A resolution from the downtown assemblyman points to a brewing storm over public consumption and the number of pot shops downtown.

Meanwhile, the city wants a few more million dollars to finish its long-suffering SAP software upgrade project, and another half-million to backfill revenue losses posted by the Sullivan Arena in 2016.

Here's a rundown of six key issues on this week's agenda. The full agenda is available on the city website.

Resolution backs marijuana cafes

A resolution from downtown Assemblyman Christopher Constant asks the Alaska Marijuana Control Board to authorize pot consumption in retail stores during the board's meeting in Fairbanks this week. The resolution, which is focused on downtown Anchorage, cites the "risk and potential for illegal consumption of marijuana in public" for locals and tourists.

Constant's resolution also references residents and business owners who want to limit the number and concentration of pot shops downtown. An Anchorage Downtown Partnership committee will meet this week to examine those issues amid worries about property values, said executive director Jamie Boring.

Speaking of pot shops

The Assembly will consider two licenses Tuesday night, one of which is downtown. True North Cannabis, a retail shop, is located at 735 W. Fourth Ave. A grow operation, CloudBerry Partners, wants a license to operate at 3307 Spenard Road.

[Where are all the pot shops in Anchorage? Here's an interactive map] 

Expected Assembly action: Vote

Money for Sully

The Assembly has to decide whether to tap city savings to cover a $600,000 operating loss posted by the Sullivan Arena in 2016.

Under a contract signed in 2011, the city is on the hook for covering the deficit.

[Sullivan Arena posts $600,000 operating loss for 2016, well before Aces exit]

Expected Assembly action: Vote

Pricey contract in rate case

Municipal Light & Power wants a $500,000 contract with consultant John J. Reed of the energy-focused financial consulting firm Concentric Energy Advisors to serve as an expert witness in a challenge before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska about the cost of the city's new power plant.

Expected Assembly action: Vote

Firefighters and raises

The Berkowitz administration and the city firefighters' union negotiated a new contract in which union members agreed to reshuffle staffing and forgo raises in two of the next three years to save money. The renegotiation factored into a recent scuffle over a decision to cut the hours of a South Anchorage water truck.

Expected Assembly action: Vote

[Related: Anchorage Fire Department officials and union clash over attempt to curb overtime]

Introduced: A bigger SAP bill

The administration of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has asked for another $5.8 million to spend on the city's troubled upgrade to SAP business software. If approved at the Assembly's next meeting, the project's total price tag will come to about $81 million.

The project started in 2011 under Mayor Dan Sullivan and was estimated to take a fraction of the cost and time. It's now set to finish in October.

Elsewhere on the introduction part of the agenda: An ordinance from Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar that would ban the sale of two types of invasive plants.

Expected Assembly action: Public hearing dates will be set.

Want to contact your Assembly representative? Get contact information here.

Devin Kelly

Devin Kelly was an ADN staff reporter.

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