Fairbanks North Star Borough

FNSB

Supporters of the Mary Siah Recreation Center turned out in force Thursday to again ask the Borough Assembly to reconsider plans to demolish the 67-year-old facility, which officials say is deteriorating. Most of the nearly 40 people who spoke during a public hearing on the borough’s proposed 165-million-dollar budget – which Assembly members advanced – urged them to find money to fix the rec center and keep it operating.

Tim Ellis/KUAC

About a hundred people packed the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly chambers Thursday to declare they don’t want the borough to demolish the Mary Siah Recreation Center. They told Assembly members to reject Mayor Karl Kassel’s proposal to knock down the 68-year-old structure and they said the borough should instead fix it up and keep it operating.


KUAC file photo

Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Karl Kassel on Thursday unveiled his recommended budget for the next fiscal year. He told Assembly members during a Finance Committee meeting that he’s tried to hold operating expenses to last year’s level and to keep property taxes just under the tax-revenue cap. And he says the budget also includes funding to begin catching up on a long list of deferred maintenance around the borough.


Tim Ellis/KUAC

Fairbanks North Star Borough officials announced Monday they’re planning to close the Mary Siah Recreation Center and demolish the 67-year-old structure this summer. It’s the first of several projects borough officials will be announcing in the coming weeks in an effort to catch up on an estimated $400 million backlog of deferred maintenance on more than 200 borough facilities.


KTVF/KXDF News

Since it opened nearly six months ago, the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s Central Recycling Facility has kept more than 367 tons of materials from being dumped into landfill. The recycling manager says he and his partner organizations would like to expand the program, but he says staff will focus on an making the operation more efficient and customer-friendly.


Tim Ellis/KUAC

Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Karl Kassel is again asking the public to help him figure out how to deal with the long backlog of deferred maintenance on borough facilities that are estimated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The mayor demonstrated the challenge he’s facing by asking residents to consider which of the top 10 facilities most in need of maintenance should the borough pay to fix – and which should be shut down and demolished.


Fairbanks Police Department

A judge has set bail at $750,000 for a Fairbanks man charged with two counts of attempted murder.

Tim Ellis/KUAC

Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Karl Kassel says most of the borough’s 250 or so buildings are badly in need of maintenance. He says many are so old that they just need to be torn down and replaced. And he says it’ll cost nearly $400 million to catch up on that backlog. The mayor told a couple hundred area residents who showed up for two meetings Wednesday that they and their local elected leaders will have to solve the problem, because it’s unlikely the state will pay for much, if any, of that work.


Seattle University Spectator

Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Karl Kassel says state officials have cut funding to the borough for three straight years now, and it appears likely that’ll continue in the years ahead. The mayor says borough officials face some tough choices on how to deal with those cuts, so he’s scheduled two public meetings for Wednesday to talk about the problem – and ask borough residents what they think ought to be done about it.


Interior Energy Project

The Fairbanks North Star Borough’s Interior Gas Utility is considering taking control of the state backed Interior Energy Project. Its aimed at increasing the supply of natural gas in the Fairbanks area, and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority has shepherded the effort to a point where it’s ready for transfer to the local non-profit utility. As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, the IGU is weighing risks and benefits as it looks at taking on the project.

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