Year 1 Anchorage Report
Stood up special Domestic Violence Unit in Dept. of Law – paired with APD officers
Largest Police Academy since 2017 (23 new recruits)
With the reorganization of APD drug units, we have seen a substantial increase in the seizure of drugs, guns and money.
First cold case homicide indictment
Fully funded School Resource Officers
Increased downtown safety patrols
As a Project Hope partner, AHD staff have built over 500 life-saving opioid rescue kits during the past year. These kits are freely available at the health department and 337 have been handed out at numerous outreach events to people of all walks of life.
AFD Academy – 26 new recruits
New medical and police equipment/vehicles
Responded to the Hiland Road Avalanche, cleared the snow within 2 ½ weeks, reopening road access to affected residents
Provided engineering and project management support to the Girdwood Service Area to implement temporary repair of the washout of the creek crossing on Ruane Road that provides the only access to the Girdwood Solid Waste Transfer Station and the Girdwood Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Water & Wastewater Environmental Compliance – Gold award from NACWA for perfect compliance at the Asplund WWTF in 2021 through now. Zero Safe Drinking Water Act water quality violations (perfect compliance) in 2021 through now.
4th Avenue Signals & Lighting – A Street to E Street. Successfully completed this phase of upgrading streetlights and traffic signals in downtown Anchorage.
Wildfire prevention/brush fire prevention
6th/Cherry Traffic Calming Project
Northeast Anchorage project as part of the Areas of Persistent Poverty Grant which will be part of mixed-use development with a focus on transit, will help develop ways the department can relocate its Muldoon Transit Hub to an off-street location. This will streamline bus operations, improving safety for pedestrians, and simplifying transfers.
Installation of school zone flasher communications that allows remote scheduling of the school zones, turn them off due to unexpected school closures, and quickly make changes to timing schedules based on unexpected weather or other events.
Assisted and repaired with the State of Alaska, the heating system in the Anchorage Safety Center. Averted a shutdown of the jail and the safety center.
Purchased the replacement of the aging sidewalk maintenance equipment fleet with fourteen sidewalk tractors over a four-year period. These machines will provide year around maintenance to over two hundred miles of trails and sidewalks in Anchorage.
Updated most critical fleet deficiencies
Completion of Storm Wastewater and Oil Grit Separator Facility.
Replaced all 15 sites of our public safety microwave network on time, on budget and with ZERO network interruptions.
Block 41 Project at 4th/5th Avenue and G street - $200 million investment
Debenham Project – Block 96 apartments - $13 million
6th Avenue project at 6th Avenue and G street- $65 million
Returning Sullivan Arena to intended purpose as sports/event center
Permitting process – mostly online now for developers, builders, and homeowners
ADU tax abatement ordinance made it easier to build ADU’s and made the correlating changes allowed in Title 21 into Title 23
Title 21 Rewrite – easing development process for builders
Title 23 Rewrite – easing the building process
Made it easier to build temporary structures in all zoning districts
Reduced some construction fees
Allowed the Building Official to extend permit applications beyond 180 days without a fee
Allowed more flexibility in reactivating permits
49th State Fund (49SAF) - 3 direct investments in companies (compared to 1 in the prior year)
Successful Alaska Angel Conference 2022, the best quality of startups since inception
gBETA program has created a pipeline for 49SAF investments: 2 alumni out of 15 have been funded by us, with more in the works
Advocated for the passing and signing of HB 227 (C-PACE BILL) to expand program scope 20+ Anchorage based projects in the pipeline
New Downtown District Plan 2021 focused on housing to help create active streets and businesses providing vitality to the entire economy of Anchorage for the next 20 years.
Anchorage Metropolitan Area Transportation Solutions (AMATS) Non-motorized Plan provided the vision for a network of facilities for non-motorized travel (walking, biking, rolling, and gliding) within the AMATS Planning Area that, when implemented, will help residents travel more safely and efficiently without the need of a motor vehicle in all seasons.
Port of Alaska
$200 million from the State legislature in FY23 budget
MARAD settlement – potentially $364 million
Petroleum Cement Terminal complete construction this summer
Permitting/timeline shortening wins
Committed largest Municipal investment in addressing homelessness ever
Secured partial funding for the design and construction of an adult navigation shelter
Working with community partners – aligning folks with the services they need for permanent housing and long-term success
Since taking over Sullivan Arena operations last year, Anchorage Health Department helped find supportive housing for hundreds of Alaskans while increasing data compliance from as low as 5% to upwards of 90%
In June 2022, AHD oversaw the successful and safe closure of the facility. Staff worked overtime to help remaining guests find housing, placing 50 guests in just the final week. Overall, AHD and partners were able to reduce the number of guests from a peak of more than 500 to just 60 by June 30.
At the Sullivan Arena, stopped the spread of tuberculosis by doing tuberculosis sweeps that resulted in over 120 negative samples
Continued to abate camps – address impact to public spaces/parks from illegal
Proposed 2022 Balanced Budget – $7.5 million of savings, while maintaining core services
Property tax savings proposed of $560 per $420K home
Reorganized departments for a more effective and efficient government
FEMA COVID reimbursement of $26,831,429.97 over the past year.
FEMA Earthquake reimbursement of $7,351,110.79 over the past year.
Collected $4.9M of 2021 PFD revenue associated with garnishing collection of delinquent criminal fines, traffic fines, and other fines and fees.
Distributed $225K to 138 small businesses that applied for small business grant relief from COVID-19 shutdowns.
Installation of new Westnet Fire Station Alerting System that saved AFD $6 million dollars.
Property Appraisal team removed millions worth of exempt value, effectively adding it back on the tax roll and saving taxpayers money.
Property Appraisal team has also been proactive in reaching out to seniors that may qualify for the senior exemption.
New live computer-assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) project that will bring better integration, support, and longevity. Successfully processed 374 appeals during the go-live transition.
Newly registered vehicle-sharing businesses such as Turo, Outdoorsy, and RVShare, so that rental vehicle sales taxes are now being collected, the playing field is made more equitable, and additional dollars are collected and directly applied to property tax relief.
Installed Solar Panel arrays on Fire Station 10 and Warehouse 1. Data collected has shown that commercial power requirements were significantly reduced or not needed at all during peak daylight hours. Significant savings on utilities.
Reduced the Purchasing Department budget by 15%
Transportation Inspection Division increased the return of vehicles into service by approximately 20% over the past year Proposed ordinance to elect the City Clerk
New People Mover bus route (Route 85) to the Loussac Library. Route 85 connects downtown, West Anchorage, the Dimond Center and the Loussac library.
Intelligent Transportation System Technology Upgrade Project that will improve the reliability of the bus system, provides much needed and enhanced rider tools, and helps the Anchorage meet growing demand for transit.
Downtown parking now available on the app
New weld bay that’s fully functional allows for more capacity of necessary part fabrication for heavy equipment resulting in savings, timely parts manufacturing and less down-time for equipment.
Hiring freeze implemented
Travel freeze implemented
Closed accounting periods in a timelier manner than in the previous four years, despite significant staff vacancies
Issued 8 Audit Reports to improve accountability and efficiency of Municipal operations including: -Monitoring of Overtime, Performance Measures, Sole Source Purchases
Continued closing of Bank Accounts as they are spent down or as they become redundant or unnecessary. This simplifies tracking and decreases the risk associated with bank accounts
Continued receipt of the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
Requested audit of spring 2022 election
Eliminated surety bond requirement for cannabis industry
Held union contract wage increases to 1% - protecting public resources
Proposed budget that was $7.5 million lower than 2020 budget
Property tax savings proposed of $560 per $420K home
Eliminated positions – without layoffs
Found efficiencies by relying on departments
Tongan relief efforts - Approximately 120,000 lbs of food, clothing, emergency equipment and housing supplies.
Ukrainian relief efforts - Promoted and connected local resources to help those coming to Alaska
220 number of speaking engagements/events
Anchorage Senior Center Improvements
Honoring Miss America – giving her the Key to the City
Unanimous confirmation of Uluao “Junior” Aumavae, 1st Polynesian-Alaskan in leadership to the Municipality of Anchorage
Developed the Office of Equity and Justice Listening Tour Initiative that involved engagement with diverse community members to help identify barriers and solutions within the Municipality of Anchorage workforce and work to obtain equal access to resources.
Developed the Engage Anchorage Initiative that involves engaging in educational programing and civic engagement.
Development of the Affirmative Action Plan for the Municipality of Anchorage.
Supported cultural education/awareness events for community members through local non-profit partners and stakeholders.
Developed a partnership with the Small Business Administration partnership for business owners
Developed a partnership with Junior Achievement Alaska for resume building for underserved communities
Developed a partnership with the State of Alaska Department of Labor to collaborate with local and state resources to address barriers within the workforce
Successfully launched new programs at the Anchorage Public Library including Golden Afternoons for seniors, “Life Skills” for teens, and MiFi internet cards for check-out that offer the community internet access for work-from-home, school-from-home, and other connectivity needs.
Installation of a new story walk on the Loussac Library Lawn. The story walk is a great tool for building literacy skills, spending family time, and getting movement in. So far it has featured two stories by local Alaskan authors.
Set up Job Fair opportunities for youth and adults at underserved communities.
Lead efforts within the Anchorage School Districts that deescalated the cultural tensions within the various communities.
Be “1% percent better today” youth initiative
City Hall Government School Field Trips with private and public government classes
Mayor Mentorship Program for youth to have access to different departments within the Municipality.
Mayor Education Round Tables
Mayor Black History Entrepreneur Round Table
Mayor Women’s Entrepreneur Round Table
Mayor Women in Government Round Table
No mask mandates – no businesses shut down by Mayor
No vaccine mandates
Got out of the testing business – money saving
Continued to support private sector partners who provided vaccinations, testing and treatments options
Supported MAB facility that saved 1000s of lives
Maintaining Core City Service Levels Through COVID
People Mover services remained the same in Anchorage and regular bus schedules were operated. This was a unique situation, as transit providers across the nation faced operator shortages and service reductions significantly disrupting transit operations.
Municipality of Anchorage employees back in the office
Worked closely with departments to ensure employee health was protected when COVID arrived in the workplace
Returning to pre-COVID services levels
Public health nursing staff have screened 63 Ukrainian refugees over the past six weeks, detecting 9 positive cases of COVID-19 and preventing community spread
In May 2022, AHD staff were honored to receive an American Red Cross Real Heroes award for community service during the pandemic. Staff worked hard to continue serving vulnerable populations while staffing vaccine clinics with community partners and even delivering vaccines to individual homes when needed
Parks & Recreation
Chanshtnu Muldoon Park – Community Garden and Food Forest Similar to a community orchard, the food forest includes over 40 fruit trees and hundreds of native and edible plants such as ferns, blueberries, strawberries, rhubarb, serviceberries, and more. Once mature, the food forest is anticipated to produce over ten thousand pounds of food annually for the community. This project was a collaboration with the Anchorage Park Foundation and included hundreds of volunteer hours to bring this community dream to reality. Members of the community can rent 10’x20’ community garden plots to grow food.
Mirror Lake Park – Ben’s Bike Park adds to the existing network of single-track mountain biking trails at Mirror Lake and includes a pump track as well as beginner and intermediate skills/ jump lines.
Fairview Recreation Center Indoor Playground - Anchorage’s first inclusive playground provides a year-round destination for families to gather and children to play. Over 2000 people visited the indoor playground during spring break 2022.
Areawide – Spruce Beetle Kill removal - Removed dead spruce trees that have been killed by the invasive bark beetle. Over 15,000 labor hours has removed over 1,800 dead spruce trees in more than 27 parks and along greenbelt trails. This helps maintain a safe environment and reduces fire danger.
Chester Creek Trail “Salmon in the City” mural located at “A” Street Bridge
Graffiti removed from mural by Rejoy Armamento at Chester Creek Trail at C Street
Municipal Public Art Program– this project encourages use of Anchorage’s trails and public spaces while drawing attention to municipal land stewardship activities and acknowledgement of indigenous stewardship and place naming.