Borough takes residents' budget input

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Fairbanks North Star Borough Administration held its first 'Sandbox Group Meeting' to talk with the community about the borough's financial situation.
The majority of residents who attended said that Fairbankans have a good quality of life.
But as Borough Mayor Karl Kassel pointed out, this quality of life could disappear if there isn't a balanced budget.
According to Kassel, the borough takes care of about 250 buildings and facilities which are heavily reliant on state funding.
With the decrease in state funds, Kassel says there needs to be a new plan to pay for buildings now that some state money has gone elsewhere.
He added that this has to be dealt with now.
"So as the revenue dwindles and we're trying to pay for things, we're creating debt by deferring maintenance and deferring capital investments and what not," Kassel said. "We've been digging a big hole and now the hole is very deep and we're at a point where we're forced to take some sort of an action going forward within the year or it'll move our community into more of catastrophic position."