Muni manager to Assembly: City will pay Roger Hickel Contracting for work done on navigation center site prep

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The mayor and the Assembly may disagree on whether Anchorage needs a navigation center to help homeless, vagrants, and transients get their feet on the ground, but the bills for the work that has been done on the center do need to be paid, and Acting Municipal Manager Ken Kohlhase intends to pay them.

Kohlhase today notified the Anchorage Assembly that money sitting in an account for the homeless navigation center, which was started late last year, will be used to pay the invoice of one of the contractors.

“As we all anticipated, Roger Hickel Contracting, Inc. has made a claim against the Municipality asserting an entitlement to payment for work it performed in construction of the Navigation Center prior to the time the project was terminated. The cost basis of that claim was carefully reviewed by The Boutet Company on behalf of the Administration, and largely found to consist of valid charges,” wrote Kohlhase to the Assembly, which is the appropriating body.

Kohlhase said it’s in the best interest to settle the claim, and that he intends to pay $2.455,351.93 to Roger Hickel Contracting on March 24.

Kohlhase referred to a resolution for $4.9 million that the Assembly passed last May that was “to be used for construction of an adult shelter and/or navigation center.”

The Assembly has been preparing to claw back that money because many of the liberal members don’t want Mayor Dave Bronson to finish the navigation center, even though funds were appropriated by the Assembly for that purpose. The struggle over what direction to take on homeless issues has consumed the Assembly and mayor’s relationship since the outset.

“This existing appropriation is more than sufficient to satisfy the claim at hand. Since the claim is for construction work falling squarely within the appropriation’s designation that it be used to pay for ‘”‘construction of an adult shelter and/or navigation center'”‘, it is the Administration’s intent to fund the settlement with this appropriation,” Kohlhase wrote.

Kohlhase also wrote that he acknowledged the appropriation was conditional on the Bronson Administration using the old Golden Lion Hotel for a substance misuse treatment center.” Since then, doubts have arisen about whether it could be used as such legally.

“The Mayor satisfied that condition on June 1, 2022, when he issued a statement acknowledging that direction was given to ‘the facilitation group guiding the mass care exit to recommend the best option to providing substance misuse treatment centers’ and promising to consider the former Golden Lion Hotel for this purpose.”

Several liberal members of the Assembly are determined to force the mayor to use the Golden Lion Hotel for a drug treatment facility, but the neighborhood opposes it. Bronson came into office with the idea that a navigation center near Elmore and Tudor Roads was a best practice that had worked in other communities. He convinced the Assembly to fund it, but they later reneged on the agreement and have fought the mayor ever since.

Meanwhile, Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel, who is paid well over $100,000 per year to run the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, opens her own navigation center in downtown Anchorage this month, in partnership with Catholic Social Services, after having fought the mayor over his navigation center concept. the ACEH-CSS center is on Third Avenue downtown.

Assembly approves funding for mayor’s navigation center for Anchorage homeless

Double-cross: Navigation Center for homeless was approved by Assembly long ago, but now Leftist majority won’t pay the bill

21 COMMENTS

  1. Nice job, Assembly. More money down the drain because you can’t deal with a mayor from another political party.

    • Why are you blaming the Assembly, Team Bronson screwed this one up. There are clear guidelines in place and they weren’t followed, it’s pretty simple. This is the same trick that Mayor Sullivan pulled with the same contractor when they were constructing the MLP power plant on the Glenn Highway. Blame the assembly, come on, keep up, pay attention Pepe

      • I’m blaming them because they signed off on the initial ground breaking work that was done and said they agreed to the plan. After the project moved forward, they suddenly changed their minds, clearly to kill the job and hang the blame on Bronson because the ADN is on their side and would reliably spin it that way. They don’t give a damn wasting $2m of our tax money and shafting the homeless if they can score petty political wins against Bronson.

        • Bronson reneged and Bronson is wasting our money. The Assembly agreed to $50,000 of work RHI proceeded at risk. I believe he Courts will split the bill 50/50 as both are at fault

  2. Hear the crooked assembly showing their true colors. They won’t work with anybody but their own. Cost the taxpayers of Anchorage money because of their list for power. Just look at the shenanigans that have gone on with the current assembly and anybody not dancing to their tune.

  3. Stoopid assembly. I mean really, can’t they see that we will need MORE homeless infrastructure as Meg raises the homeless numbers?
    So the Bronson navigation tent (good idea imo) AND the Zeletel downtown bldg can coexist, as Meg fills them both up to capacity as our homeless czar.
    Has anyone bothered to “thank” her for “her service” to the community yet?
    After all, we know she does this out of the goodness in her heart (& 100K a year)

    PS: where the f is my man Constant on this!!!
    He has complained about putting all the screw ups in our hood since he was elected and NOW he’s ok w/ this?

    • A tent in the woods that costs an underfined amount of money to perate is not infrastruture, it is a boondoggle

      • No, “tents in the woods” are behind our houses Frank, not at the old cop shop, by the hospital, on Tudor.
        That facility would have the Tudor Rd bike trail running by it just yards away, it is NOT “in the woods”
        Someone was shot in the 2 illegal camps behind our house in Oct. (Chester Cr Grbelt)
        1 camper or visitor (there are both – partying) shot another in the shoulder because he was a bully.
        The cops walked the wounded person out to an ambulance and looked EVERYWHERE for shell casings or a gun.
        Didn’t see anyone arrested & this was not reported in the ADN because it doesn’t fit the progressive Fairy Tale of these ‘poor souls, who just need a hand up’
        Megs plan is to give the illegal tent campers a place to wash up, get food & hit the streets again to PARTY, so there will be a never ending flow of homeless “services” that people like her can sell us.

  4. The Anchorage Daily News did a fairly good job of reporting the Bronson Administration malfeasance on the Hickel Navigation Center Contract. Mayor Bronson wants to privatize homeless services, It appears that Catholic Social Services and Zalatel are doing exactly what Bronson wants.

  5. Meg Zalatel is opening a navigation center in partnership with Catholic Social Services?! Wow.

    Way to show your true colors, CSS. You couldn’t possibly extend a helping hand to a conservative mayor in the effort to help the homeless, especially after he received a standing ovation at the Anchorage Trump rally, now could ya?

    Any Murkowski’s or Gores on the Board of CSS?

  6. So the leftist Assembly members now see the Bronson administration may actually help the homeless get on their feet. Oh no, can’t hurt the homeless industrial complex & our leftist donors.

  7. Way to go assembly. If this keeps up, pretty soon the only way anyone is going to bid on a Muni contract is if the funds for the job are first placed in escrow so that the contractor will have a chance of actually being paid in a timely manner.

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