Mayor Talks Funding Priorities at Sandbox Meeting

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Borough Mayor Karl Kassel scheduled two town hall sessions today in the Civic Center at Pioneer Park to discuss tough fiscal decisions facing Fairbanks.
At noon Mayor Kassel held "The Sandbox Group Meeting: 2.0," with a second meeting at 6 PM.
A focus at the meeting was discussion of the top 10 borough properties in need of attention.
The list includes such buildings as the Carlson Center, the Big Dipper Ice Arena and the Civic Center where the meetings are located.
At the noon gathering, attendees watched a presentation outlining the cost of demolition, repair and renovations, and total replacement.
They then voted on what the borough should do with the buildings.
After the meeting, Kassel answered questions and listened to concerns from residents.
He says the votes give him a glimpse into how people believe the borough should tackle the long term maintenance of its facilities.

Mayor Karl Kassel; Fairbanks North Star Borough>>"This is just a snapshot. It's a very small piece of the pie. Like I said, we have 217 facilities we're looking at. There's nothing that is really up to speed the way they should be for their current conditions. So we've got hundreds of millions literally, it's about a 400 million dollar project total overall to get us to where we should be with all these facilities. And we need to start working on that, because the old model where the state's providing the money to take care of these is gone away, it has been gone for a number of years, and we're digging a hole and not maintaining things to the point where we have several facilities that really are in danger of some catastrophic failure."