Anchorage voters to decide on bond issues for infrastructure projects

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — When Anchorage residents vote in the 2019 Regular Municipal Election on April 2, several proposed bonds will be on the ballot.

Proposition No. 1 authorizes the municipality to issue up to $59 million in bonds for major maintenance projects in the Anchorage School District.

Propositions No. 2 through No. 7 involve bond issues totaling around $55 million for other city projects ranging from public safety to parks. The largest of the six bonds would be for road and storm water drainage projects.

"If you want to have a city that's growing and prospering, you need to invest in yourselves, make sure the infrastructure is strong," Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said. "These are bonds that help make sure our roads are in good condition, our public safety resources are what they need to be, and that our parks represent the quality of life that people of Anchorage should have."

The $33 million bond for roads and drainage projects would increase property taxes $9.53 for every $100,000 of appraised value. The other bonds for municipal projects are each less than $6 million and would raise property taxes a maximum of $1.34 for every $100,000 of assessed value.

Of the school district's proposed $59 million bond, $4 million would go toward earthquake recovery in the Eagle River and Chugiak schools, and most of the other funds would go toward maintenance projects including new roofs, HVAC systems and modern security systems.

"At this point in time, there isn't a bond debt reimbursement program from the state, so what we've done in Anchorage is pass our bonds — especially in the school district — at a minimum level to maintain the facilities," ASD Superintended Deena Bishop said. "It's not shiny, it's not cool stuff we're doing. It's actually keeping these buildings lasting longer."

Voting in the April 2 municipal election will be by mail. Ballots will be sent to registered voters on March 12.

You can read more about the propositions that will appear on the ballot here.

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