Homeowners want Juneau's help with river erosion
Jul. 18, 2017
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska residents living in a strip of homes along Juneau's Mendenhall River have noticed their backyards are shrinking, and some want the city to fix the problem before it's too late.
About 28 properties along the river are in danger of eroding away, but the price to fix the problem would cost the homeowners about $78,000 each, The Juneau Empire reported (http://bit.ly/2tmkFWz) Sunday.
The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Committee of the Whole discussed the issue Wednesday night, but did not reach a decision.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service, however, has devised a plan that would cost at least $7.7 million. The local government would have to come up with $1.9 million, plus administrative and permit costs. Funds from the federal government would cover 75 percent of the project.
Juneau officials have said under the service's plan that the city would serve only as a "conduit" for funds, which means it would pay the initial amount needed to carry out the project and homeowners would be responsible for paying the city back throughout the next 10 to 15 years.
With Juneau being located in an area that has avalanches, floods, landslides and numerous other natural hazards, Juneau Engineering and Public Works Director Roger Healy said it's not possible for the city to pay for every project.
"The city is not responsible for every natural process, I guess is one way to put it," Healy said.
Twenty-five of the residents impacted on Meander Way were surveyed about the service's plan and 20 of them wanted to go through with it.
Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com