New ordinance requires borough mayors to contribute money towards facilities maintenance

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Thursday night, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly passed an ordinance requiring the Borough Mayor, as well as future mayors, to propose a budget contributing 7 percent of local tax revenue to the Facilities Maintenance Reserve Fund each year. This ordinance, co-sponsored by the mayor, was an effort to make a dent in the high amount of deferred maintenance.

The assembly and the administration spent hours discussing different amendments to the ordinance in order for it to have the effect that they want. One worry was whether future mayors would actually have to follow the ordinance. It was brought up by assembly members that the decision of how money is appropriated is ultimately up to the assembly but that this is a good step to highlight the issue of putting aside money to pay for maintaining borough buildings.

Mayor Bryce Ward said this is isn't going to fix everything all at once, but it's a step in the right direction.

"Is this the end all be all to our problems? No, but I think it's a really good start and it's going to take continued development and tweaking as we go through the years to make this a really and truly functional tool," said Ward.

According to the borough clerk's office, the ordinance went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday and the final ordinance with all of the amendments will be publicly available on Monday, January 28.