Juneau residents: Do you want a new City Hall? What will it cost you?

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The Juneau Assembly will hear from the public on Wednesday about whether a new City Hall should be built, or if the current one should be renovated.

Several plans have been advanced, including converting the old Walmart building in Lemon Creek into a new municipal center. A survey of local residents showed many people favoring the conversion of the Walmart building, which has plenty of parking and is more conveniently located for people who are not in the downtown core. One of the downsides is the smell of the landfill nearby is at times overwhelming. On the other hand, if city workers were subjected to the smell, solutions to the problem may be hastened.

Other ideas include simply renovating the crowded 70-year-old City Hall on Seward Street, building a new City Hall on top of the parking garage next to the Downtown Transit Center, which is a block away from the existing City Hall, and constructing a new building on a city-owned parcel on Whittier Street downtown.

The meetings of the Assembly are conducted via Zoom. Participants can call into the public portion between 6-7:30 pm on Jan. 26.

Information on how to take part in the forum is at this link.

The options being considered are at these links:

Last year, the Public Works Department polled the public and found 74 percent of respondents supported a new facility with parking for public and staff. 1,326 residents responded to the survey.

Following Wednesday’s meeting, the Assembly will be given a narrowed list of options by the city’s Public Works Department, and the Assembly may then advance a bond package to the fall election to ask Juneau taxpayers to pay for the chosen option through their property taxes.

10 COMMENTS

  1. What would they do with the current building? Is there a reason they want to spend all this money on a new city hall? Other than the fact that Juneau wastes money as a general principle of course.

  2. The record shows that it will cost at least twice what the Assembly and City Manager say it will cost. And the roof will leak, the city will sue the builder and lose, and the grand opening will feature many fat old men dressed in skirts and high-heeled shoes. This is what your state capital city has become.

  3. Oh, let it be the old K-Mart / Wall Mart location. It’s perfect for CBJ offices since it is centrally located between Town and “The Valley”. As a bonus the stench from Mt. Stinko will only add to the ambience of City Government.
    Rory Watt, you can make this happen. Forget the Parking Garage Addition mentioned in the article, why that might obscure somebody’s view plane, displace Homeless People and could reduce the number of parking spaces that the city gives to Legislative staffers for free every year. ( plus having built that structure I can attest to the difficulty and cost of constructing another floor) Keep it simple, pack up the offices and head out to Switzer Creek. I hope to see the CBJ occupy this spacious building where two of the worlds greatest retailers went broke on my next sojourn south and east.

    Suzanne, We Gastineau Channel expats appreciate how you keep us informed of events in our former beloved homeland.

  4. The Walmart building will never be a business again. Walmart got robbed everyday, people would literally walk out the doors with merchandise. The cashiers were corrupt too. Besides, shelves on the stores we have now can’t be kept full. Our city council has visions for a huge, palatial city hall and have only one revenue source considered. Bumping up property taxes.

  5. City managers want projects on their resume. When they get restless, they move on to another community and get hired as a result of the “successfully completed” projects. They typically don’t care too much about the health of the community’s long-term finances. The one’s that do stick around are usually optimists who believe the city will always be growing, and their projects will help it grow. The current administration has let City Hall deteriorate to an alarming degree. It appears as though they’d like to use the dilapidated structure as a testament to their need for new quarters – an inaccessible castle atop the parking garage. Although I believe the best path forward is to renovate the current City Hall, if they can’t do that, they should move out of the downtown area to a location with parking and easy access for residents. Sell the downtown city hall to the tourism industry so they can recapture some property tax dollars.

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