ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The state Senate Finance Committee has backed a $5 million proposal that includes establishing a list of people who would be banned from buying alcohol in Anchorage.
The “no sell” proposal by the Fairview Business Association also calls for comprehensive treatment and case management for the city’s most problematic drinkers.
The Senate committee included the project in the $1.9 billion capital budget that was unveiled Monday, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The proposal would also have to pass the full Senate and state House, and win approval from Gov. Sean Parnell.
The group has not finalized details on how the ban would work, but envisions the city determining who would be on the list and police enforcing it.
Under the proposal, services would be overseen by Akeela Inc., a nonprofit organization providing services for the treatment and prevention of alcohol and substance abuse in Anchorage and other Alaska communities.
“I was almost in tears and dancing in my office this morning,” said Christopher Constant, an Akeela administrator and a board member for the Fairview Business Association.
Constant said his group is seeking feedback on setting the criteria for a ban on alcohol sales to people who would be on the list. Approving the criteria could fall to the Anchorage Assembly.
The no-sell list would be citywide.
Constant said his group is sharing the idea with community councils throughout Anchorage.
Fairview lobbyist Paul Fuhs testified last week on the spending plan, calling for state alcohol tax money to be used to fund the effort, according to committee minutes.
The Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association has not taken a position on the proposal, in part “because it has changed several times and lacks a level of specifics that would allow us to reasonably evaluate its effectiveness,” association President Dale Fox said.
Business owners in the Fairview area have long sought to reduce public drinking, crime and panhandling in the neighborhood.