Work on a $52 million project to expand North Pole’s municipal water system is expected to begin within a few weeks, now the City Council has awarded the contract to a Fairbanks company. The project will extend the system into areas where the groundwater was contaminated by a chemical compound that leaked from the now-shuttered North Pole Refinery more than a decade ago.
It appears the dispute over how much to clean up contaminated groundwater in the North Pole area will continue into the new year. As KUAC’s Tim Ellis reports, officials with the state’s environmental regulatory agency are still reviewing studies to help them decide on a safe cleanup level for the chemical that leaked from a North Pole refinery into the area’s groundwater.
The Fairbanks City Council has finally declared its support for overriding Governor Mike Dunleavy's budget-cutting vetoes. The council and Mayor Jim Matherly had been under mounting public pressure to take a stand on the issue since Dunleavy announced his vetoes on June 28. They heard more pleas Monday from members of the public and two candidates running to replace Matherly.
The Fairbanks City Council soundly rejected an ordinance Monday that would’ve asked voters this fall to approve easing the city’s restrictions on property-tax hikes. All six council members and Mayor Jim Matherly supported the measure when it was introduced two weeks ago, as a means of raising revenues to offset a dropoff in state funding. But their consensus fell apart after two members withdrew their support.
The Fairbanks City Council unanimously defeated Mayor Jim Matherly’s proposal Monday to increase the city’s hotel/motel tax to raise additional revenue for city services. The mayor says the city needs additional revenue as demand for services grows and state funding shrinks.