Hello, loyal Eaglecresters!
As the spring sun shines down on us, I feel it is time to reflect back on our amazing winter season and discuss the very strange, uncertain, and challenging world that we currently find ourselves living in.
Unfortunately, nobody could have ever imagined a global pandemic bringing the global economy to a screeching halt. Fortunately, Eaglecrest has developed operating parameters that will allow us to operate safely with the priority of keeping the bullwheels turning while trying to offer as many other services as possible. If there is a resurgence of COVID-19 next winter, ski operations will be modified to maximize social distancing and minimize indoor activity.
The City and Borough of Juneau is in an extremely difficult financial position due to economic contraction and lost sales tax revenue and is now facing a $34 million dollar shortfall. As the City Assembly wrestles with an extremely large budget deficit and very few options to balance it, the City Manager proposed a property tax increase to help fill the gap, but this approach has not gained much favor. If revenues cannot be raised through tax increases, then the only alternative is budget cuts, and the potential elimination of entire programs, in order to fund more essential city services.
In fall 2019, the Assembly underwent a long process to rank every city government service in terms of priority and importance. Eaglecrest was ranked as number 76 out of 80, with 80 being the lowest. The Assembly is now using this Priority Driven Budget tool as a way to determine funding during this budget cycle.
The Eaglecrest budget is on the agenda for action at the finance committee meeting tomorrow night, Wednesday, May 13. Your voice in this process is important for the Assembly to hear and for the future of Eaglecrest operations. Now is the time to emphasize the importance of maintaining all of Juneau’s outdoor recreation assets to ensure the physical and mental health of our community.
Please contact your Assembly Members and let them know how Eaglecrest benefits your life. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit juneau.org/assembly. You can watch tomorrow’s meeting on CBJ’s Facebook page.
Eaglecrest has also requested additional funding through the CBJ Capital Improvement Fund to get unemployed workers back to work on the mountain, helping our trail crews complete the mountain bike trail to the top of Hooter, as well as expanding the hiking trail network. Having a larger than normal paid trail crew will also open up volunteer opportunities and helps us foster the “can do” pioneering Alaska spirit that built much of our great state.
Thank you all for the continued support and outpouring of love that you have all shown for Eaglecrest as we collectively navigate these unprecedented times.