The Anchorage Assembly unanimously voted down Mayor Bronson’s plan to erect a temporary homeless shelter/navigation center on Tudor Road near the Alaska Native Medical Center.
Mayor Dave Bronson’s plan was to erect a large fabric structure at the cost of $15 million; but wrapped into the plan was the former mayor’s plan to purchase the old Alaska Club on Tudor Road for $5.4 million, which would take $2 million to remodel. The two plans were intertwined in a last-minute revision on the plan by Assembly members Meg Zaletel and Forrest Dunbar, and the plan included limiting a facility to 150-beds.
It was a plan by the two on the Assembly to hold the mayor’s plan hostage by tying the two projects together.
Several members of the public testified against the plan; they appeared to be Dunbar supporters. Dunbar lost his bid for mayor this spring to Bronson.
Now, by killing the project, there is no place for the 380 homeless people living in the Sullivan Arena to go, and the city can’t, by law, abate and clear the homeless camps in the greenbelts unless it has a place to house people safely.
There are hockey games scheduled as early as Oct. 5 at the Sullivan Arena, but it appears the Assembly wants to keep the homeless there; this could infuriate the hockey community, which represents a powerful voice in Anchorage.