Jim Matherly

KUAC file photo

The Fairbanks City Council took a big step Monday toward taking over ownership of the old Polaris Building – a step that Mayor Jim Matherly hopes will lead to demolition of the contaminated and condemned downtown structure.

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

Fairbanks City Councilman David Pruhs has directed staff to draft a plan over the next 90 days on how the city will respond to the growing problem of groundwater contamination caused by chemical compounds in firefighting foam. Pruhs told City Attorney Paul Ewers Monday that the plan must include a way for the city to compensate homeowners who could be paying for the local response to the contamination through their property taxes.


Tim Ellis/KUAC

After a heated debate, the Fairbanks City Council approved an ordinance Monday that added regulations to the marijuana industry. The amended ordinance maintains the city’s ban on on-site consumption of cannabis. But it would allow more than twice as many retail shops as the original ordinance introduced by Mayor Jim Matherly.


Jim Matherly/Faceboo

Today is the deadline the city set for the owner of the old Masonic Temple to haul away the pile of rubble that is now all that remains of the historic structure, which partially collapsed last month from the weight of a heavy snow load. Owner Harold Groetsema says he can’t pay the $80,000 bill to dispose of the rubble. And he’s asked the city to give him more time to find a solution.


A roomful of people packed the Fairbanks City Council meeting room Monday for the last public hearing on a proposed ordinance that would place limits on marijuana businesses before the council considers approval next month. Most supported the ordinance and called for greater regulation of the industry. Opponents say the measure is unfair and heavy-handed, and would further unfairly treat marijuana and alcohol differently.


Owners of local marijuana businesses told the Fairbanks City Council Monday that the free market should decide how many retail pot shops the city should allow. The owners and other advocates told council members a proposed ordinance that would limit the number of shops and impose other regulations on the industry could stifle the economic benefits it’s generating.

Fairbanks Police Department

The Fairbanks City Council on Monday approved bonuses to help recruit and retain police officers and dispatchers.

City of Fairbanks

Hundreds of local government officials from around the state are in Anchorage this week for the Alaska Municipal League’s annual local-government conference. At the top of their agenda is finding ways to deal with cuts in state funding that in turn have forced the municipalities to reduce services and raise local taxes.


Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce

Members of the public who show up at Fairbanks City Council meetings to talk about what’s on their mind will now have to wait later into the evening. That’s because councilmembers voted Monday to move the citizens-comment portion of regular meetings from near the top of the agenda to near the bottom.


Fairbanks city voters turned down a ballot proposition Tuesday that would’ve authorized property tax increases to make up for reduced state funding.

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