Fairbanks North Star Borough works on code enforcement, hopes to reduce transfer site issues

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska. (KTVF) Transfer sites may still see more code enforcement, but that is rolling out slowly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly decided on partial implementation of the program by funding one full-time manager to build the program up, and one temporary position for a code enforcement officer.

(Sara Tewksbury)

Chief of Staff Jim Williams says the program is not in place right now, as they are still in policy development. “The idea is we have to get the program built up. It’s not a trivial thing to build a code enforcement program -- and then once we get the program built, then we start working on it. So it will take a little time,” said Williams.

Williams says this program is in response to problems that have been growing at transfer sites. “It’s kind of been going on and simmering. It’s not really one problem, it’s a combination of little things that has grown into a low roar from the community. If it was just one thing, it would be super easy to deal with, but it is a combination of things,” said Williams.

He says the problems range from illegal dumping, to vandalism and crimes occurring at the transfer sites. "So you add up all those things and it creates not a very inviting environment for families to go to. It is like 'yeah it's a transfer site,it's supposed to be messy'... but no it's not. It is supposed to be some place you want to go and you want to feel safe taking your daily trash there. It's a public service. The public has paid for that with the tax levy. So we have a duty to do the best we can, and to make it a service that folks are going to want to use and not feel scared to go do it,” said Williams.

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