In a local election that pitted an ambitious arts community against the rest of Juneau taxpayers, voters turned down Prop. 3, a grant measure that would help pay for a new Juneau Arts and Cultural Center.
While the first ballot proposition passed – to increase the hotel bed tax by 2 percent for repairs to Centennial Hall, Prop. 2, to borrow through bonds some $7 million for upgrades to the aging hall, failed narrowly, and Prop. 3 went down 59-41, a resounding defeat. It would have granted $4.5 million for the new JACC, paid for with sales tax.
All three measures were focused on Centennial Hall and the hoped-for arts center, which would have been connected to Centennial Hall via a covered walkway. Meanwhile, several schools are in serious need of repairs, but these were not on the ballot.
The Partnership, the group that has led the initiative to build the more than 44,000-square-foot arts center, was headed up by former Juneau Mayor and the architect of the Gov. Bill Walker Administration, Bruce Botelho, and former Justice Walter “Bud’ Carpeneti.
Turnout was 23.4 percent in Juneau’s election. There are 1,500 early votes to count plus questioned ballots yet to be counted: