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.
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.
The Fairbanks City Council approved an ordinance Monday that’s intended to help provide drinking water for property owners in an area on the city’s south side who’ve lost the use of their wells due to groundwater contamination. Mayor Jim Matherly says it’s only the first step toward addressing the mounting costs of the contamination problem.
The Fairbanks City Council last night gave initial approval to a measure that would ask Fairbanks voters to consider an increase in property taxes to fill a gap in the city’s budget caused by a cutback in state funding.