Election results with 98 percent of precincts reporting:
Anchorage voters on Wednesday will consider eight ballot propositions. Read below for a summary of each:
Proposition 1 asks voters to approve a more than $58 million bond package for the Anchorage School District to help repair and improve aging infrastructure. That money would go towards replacing eight roofs and three heating/ventilations systems at various ASD facilities. The bond would also pay for seismic renovation at Romig Middle School and West High, which were damaged during the 7.1 magnitude earthquake in January of last year. Last year Anchorage voters rejected the school district’s bond proposal, which included many of the same capital improvement projects seeking funding in the 2017 ballot.
Proposition 2 asks for nearly $1.7 million for various public safety and transportation upgrades, the most expensive of which would be the purchase of two new ambulances totaling $650,000. The money would also go toward improving bus stops, school zone signage and public transportation vehicles.
This proposal has faced opposition from three former Anchorage mayors: Rick Mystrom, Dan Sullivan and George Wuerch, who say the cost to taxpayers would be much higher in the long term than the proposal suggests.
“This issue is the huge amount of labor attached to this over the next ten years,” Mystrom told Channel 2. “I think that if it were more candid about how much this was going to cost it would have been easier to swallow”
Proposition 3 asks for more than $3.6 million to go towards 12 different projects for Parks and Recreation, the most expensive of which is a $750,000 bond for rehabilitating the Campbell Creek Trail.
“Funds will be used to rehabilitate priority areas within the trail corridor and implement new wayfinding and signage for the trail corridor,” the proposal reads.
This proposition also asks for $500,000 to install new playgrounds and improve existing ones in the city.
This proposition asks voters to approve nearly $37 million for repairs, improvements and upgrades to the city’s roads and storm drains. The bond proposal lists a total of 38 projects in need of funding, the most expensive of which is an $8 million request to upgrade Turnagain Boulevard between 35th Avenue and Spenard Road.
“This project will upgrade Turnagain Boulevard to current neighborhood collector standards. Improvement are expected to include storm drain installation, a new road base, curb and gutter, pedestrian facilities, street lighting, and three separated drainage projects extending into the adjacent neighborhood,” the proposal reads.
Proposition 5 asks for $2.6 million to replace aging AFD fire engines, upgrade exterior lighting at fire stations with LED bulbs and replace the roof of AFD’s vehicle maintenance facility.
“The AFD has a replacement schedule that follows national standards for replacement of front line fire apparatus,” the proposal reads. “The municipality is requesting funding to replace three engine companies in 2017, and may include tools, equipment and fire hose.”
This proposition requests $1.4 million to improve or renovate three facilities used by the Anchorage Police Department. More than half of that money would go towards remodeling APD’s training academy as the department works to bolster the number of officers on the streets.
“The department is in need of additional space for its academy. This project redesigns the existing training center facility to better accommodate current and future planned training curriculum by transforming the current gymnasium area into a classroom and renovating the building’s excess storage areas into updated gender-specific locker rooms and an expanded gymnasium area,” the proposal reads.
The bond would also help improve parking security outside APD’s headquarters on Elmore Road as well as pay for an improved interview room.
Proposition 7 would expand the parks and recreation service area to include a swath of new land in Stuckagain Heights and the southeast part of Anchorage’s Hillside, including Bear Valley. All told, this ordinance would add 997 parcels of land to the parks and rec service area with a total assessed value of $299 million.
“Increasing use of the Chugach State Park is creating problems the Parks and Recreation Department cannot use its resources to solve. These include developing more access points to Chugach State park in a way that respects existing property rights,” the proposal reads.
Proposition 8 is a referendum that would repeal an ordinance restricting the number of taxi cab permits the municipality can issue. The proposition, if approved, would pave the way for dozens more taxi cabs within Anchorage. Proponents say this would help meet the growing need for taxis while increasing competition in the industry. Opponents of the measure say that additional taxis are not necessary for Anchorage.